Athens plans to add more electric city vehicles, EV charging stations< < Back to
ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The city of Athens is making a switch from gas, to electric when it comes to its city vehicles. Through a recent agreement with Enterprise to get rid of fossil fuel vehicles, the city plans to lease hybrid and electric cars.
“I want to have a lot of our fleet flipped over from fossil fuel to EVs,” said Athens Mayor Steve Patterson.
The code office and arts parks recreation office, along with the engineering and public works offices currently have electric vehicles, also known as EV’s, but Patterson says that’s not enough.
“Even though our electric bill would be much higher, it’s actually much less expensive to charge up that way,” said Deputy Service Safety Director Andrew Chiki.
Chiki said the city expects to see more EVs, helping the city potentially save a great sum of money.
With the addition of more electric vehicles, more stations to charge EVs will also come to Athens. Many charging stations are slated to be installed throughout the city.
The city is not only currently conducting a search for logical places to install EV charging stations, but also is looking to connect the new EV vehicle rollout with other city plans.
“We are applying for a Department of Transportation grant to redo Columbus Road,” said Chiki. “With that, we’ll put EV charging stations, I’m sure at some locations down there.”
The city is also interested in piloting this new program with the Athens fire station build, Chiki said.
Other potential sites for EV charging stations include Armory Park and Richland Avenue.
“You want them to plug in places where they are going to experience your restaurants, your stores or bars,” said Patterson.
Placing EV charging stations near businesses throughout town will help contribute to the local economy.
With EV charging stations already at Don Wood on East State Street, the Athens Public Library, and at the city pool, the effects on the local economy have already begun to be seen.
“So people could hop on and you know, go to Applebee’s or across the street to Sol restaurant or whatever, you know,” Patterson said.
The push for more electric vehicles is the driving force behind Athens’ goal to reduce carbon emissions by half by 2030.
“By the year 2030, I think that the solar array is going to push us well beyond reducing our carbon emissions, you know, more than 50% It’ll be really pretty wonderful,” said Patterson.