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Newport considering methods to draw more electric vehicle tourists to the coast…

Electric Charging Station…

From Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel to Newport City Council:

Report on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for the City of Newport:

The City Council recently heard a report on the status of electric vehicle charging stations for the City of Newport. The Council asked to have a more detailed discussion at a future work session on next steps to consider more charging stations within the City. There are a number of basic options that the Council can consider which include the following:

1. Allow the private sector to meet the needs of electric vehicle (EV) charging within the City.
2.Actively promote installation of EV charging stations in the business community through organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, various attractions,and tourism-related businesses.
3.Review the City’s regulatory framework to consider adding requirements for certain projects to include EV stations as part of those development projects.
4.Install chargers at City facilities for City employee and visitor use.
5.Purchase or lease EV charging stations for placement on public property for general public use.

To bring additional resources for Council discussion,vThor Hinckley Senior Program Manager for Forth Mobility, will be participating in the meeting via conference call. Forth Mobility is a 501c(6) non-profit organization. It was created to benefit the EV industry in the Pacific Northwest by demonstrating new mobility options, building a strong network industry, engaging consumers to accelerate technology adoption,and secure policy changes to accelerate advanced mobility.

Glossary of Terms about Electric Vehicles: Councilor Parker has identified a few key terms regarding electric vehicles and charging stations to assist with Council’s review of this report. These include the following:EV:

* Electric Vehicle-powered by a lithium-ion or similar battery.
* PHEV: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Some % can be operated on only electric for a short duration or can switch between the gasoline and electric motors. The Volt is a PHEV.
* HEV: A vehicle with gas engine and small on-board electric motor that operates at idle and slow speeds to reduce fuel consumption. The Prius is a good example of an HEV.

Charging Terminology:

Level 1: Any 120v wall outlet. Charges slowly overnight. Takes about 16-24 hours for a standard EV to charge a full battery. AKA “trickle charging.”

Level 2: Standard 208-240v Plug which any EV or PHEV can plug into, including Teslas. It takes about 4-6 hours to charge a 40 KwH battery at this level. New ones top out at 11KwH/Hour.

Level 3: “Fast Charger” that usually start at 480v and up. Can charge a depleted battery to around 85% in 30-60 minutes. 3-phase power is required for this level of charging station. They are in high demand and limited supply in Oregon. US Highway 20 has no fast charger between I-5 and Sisters. Tesla calls these stations “Superchargers.”CHAdeMo: a round fast-charging plug that Japanese and Korean EV manufacturers have been using since the Leaf came about in 2012. These are the main fast chargers around Oregon Highways through the ODOT-funded WCEH (West Coast Electric Highway).

CCS:Combined Charging System, fast charging plug for Chevrolet, Volkswagon, BMW, Audi and other GM brands. Every Wal-Mart in America will eventually have 3 CCS and one CHAdeMO fast charging plugs through the Volkswagen-funded Electrify America program. Some Chevrolet dealerships that sell Bolts are installing fast CCS chargers. There are MANY more terms, to learn more lingo visit: http://myev.com

Current Status of Electric Vehicles in Newport:
Currently,there are four electric charging stations in Newport. Electric vehicles have the capability of charging in various ways. Level 1 and Level 2 chargers are generally universal. However, Level 3 chargers are not as standardized. In 2012, the City of Newport leased space to Aerovironment, Inc. for a location for an electronic automobile charging station at the Hurbert Street parking lot.This lease was transferred from Aerovironment, Inc. to Webasto Charging Systems, Inc. in 2018. The 3rd unit installed at this location is a Level 3 fast charging station, and a Level 2 station. The acquisition of the station was part of a statewide TIGER grant obtained by the Oregon Department of Transportation in 2011 to create a network of charging stations across the State of Oregon. The City receives 5% of gross revenues generated by this station.

The volume of usage for this charge station was reviewed for 2017 and 2018, (the last data we have in place is March 2018), and monthly usage ranges from 21 charge sessions per month (October 2017) to 64 charges per month (August 2017). The number of charges per month have been pretty stable since 2013. The kilowatt usage, however, has been growing continually during this time period. This data is not current and Councilor Parker has indicated that more people are charging their vehicles at this location. He has found the station full (both Level 2 & 3 plugs in use) four times in the past month during weekends. We will obtain more current data for the work session.

Power Chevrolet has a Level 3 and a Level 2 charging station on US Highway 101. The Level 3 charger has been broken for over a year and the dealership has stated that they don’t think EVs are viable or self-supporting in the future. EVs are stated to have much lower maintenance needs which would make servicing these vehicles less profitable. In addition, Hallmark has a Level 2 charger for guests at the hotel. The Chamber of Commerce and large City hotel owners have not approached the City or the Central Lincoln PUD to fast-track any charging stations.

In addition, according to Bob Cowen, the new HMSC building will be the first public building to offer employee charging in the City of Newport.The PCH hospital has also indicated their plan to install EV chargers on the completion of the hospital project. The aquarium also explored placing a charging station on their grounds, but due to the cost of extending electricity to the site, they have decided not to move forward with this installation.

Finally, Wilder Corners is installing a Level 2 ChargePoint charger in the Wilder Subdivision. Options relating to the City’s role with electric vehicle charging stations Councilor Parker and I have met to review the policy options that City Council can consider addressing future EV charging needs in the City.

Councilor Parker is suggesting that the City consider the placement of charging stations at the Ernest Bloch Wayside near the restrooms and the Performing Arts Center parking lot. These two locations are used by individuals parking for extended periods of time that would benefit from charging at these locations. In reviewing Level 2 EV chargers, the cost for the equipment can range from $11,000-$17,000 for EV charging stations that could charge up to four cars at one time. There are a number of configurations that could be considered, including having single stations on each pedestal or having dual connections on each pole.

In addition to the cost for the equipment, the City would need to determine the cost to extend electricity to the charging station locations. The costs can be significant and can vary depending on having sufficient power near the charger location. If the Council is interested in proceeding with these options, the City administration would need to obtain estimates for the electrical work that would be needed to accommodate these stations. Councilor Parker is suggesting that the City only consider the Level 2 charging stations at these locations. The City Council could explore development of a requirement that charging stations be included in new construction for major commercial or multifamily housing developments.

This is an issue that would need to be referred to staff for further development if the Council is interested in pursuing this option. If Council is interested in providing opportunities for employees to charge vehicles at City worksites, charging stations could be installed behind City Hall or at other locations where sufficient demonstration of City employees exist. It is my thought that if EV chargers were installed at City Hall they should be done as a public facility, not strictly just for recharging City vehicles since it would be very difficult to track the usage. Another strategy that Council could pursue is encouraging the private sector installation of charging stations throughout the community. This would place the City in more of a supporter position, and not a regulator or direct provider of these services.

It should be noted that Central Lincoln PUD provides a rebate amount of $250 per location of each installed charging station, as a way to promote expansion of charging opportunities for EV owners. Governor Brown’s 2017 executive order, number 17-21, provides the State of Oregon’s EV strategy, established a goal of reaching 50,000 EVs by 2020. I have attached a link to the Governor’s strategy for review. https://goelectric.oregon.gov/our-strategy.

The current statistics from 2019 show EV registrations at approximately 30,000. It is unlikely the goal will be met, but by December 31, 2020, it will be 3/5 toward meeting this goal.

Communication with the City of Corvallis. The City Council has initiated discussions with Corvallis about creating a stronger presence for the use of EVs for people traveling between Corvallis and Newport. The City of Corvallis has indicated a desire to continue that dialogue with the City. If the Council acts on a specific plan, it would be appropriate to communicate that plan to the City of Corvallis to continue this exchange.

Next steps for Council
– The Council should discuss the policy option to determine the direction that the City Council would like to go relating to EV charging stations. If the Council can come to a consensus, then a report would be brought back to the Council for formal adoption, putting into place the framework for the City administration to work toward addressing that policy directive. With the budget process for next fiscal year underway, it will be important to determine whether Council wants to play a direct financial role in owning/leasing additional charging stations, factoring those into the budgeting process.

Conclusion:
I appreciate all the effort that Councilor Parker has put into researching this matter. I look forward to gaining some additional direction from the Council on how to proceed with this policy.

Respectfully Submitted,
Spencer R. Nebel,
City Manager

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