Electric vehicle owners can charge up at downtown CR parking ramps

By  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)- Owners of electric vehicles in Linn County now have a lot more options when it comes to plugging in their ride. In fact, as of Friday, the number of public, free vehicle charging stations just doubled.

An electric vehicle charges up at a free charging station at a downtown parking ramp. Park Cedar Rapids and Alliant Energy are offering 12 new charging stations. That more than doubles the current number of public charging stations in Linn County.

Alliant Energy and Park Cedar Rapids partnered up to bring 12 new vehicle charging stations to two Cedar Rapids parking ramps. Sponsors of the program say there are a total of just 11 public charging stations in all of Linn County now.

Four stations are available for the public at the 1st Avenue Convention Center Ramp. Eight more stations are opening to the public at different ends of the 4th Avenue Parkade.

Alliant paid for each of the 12 new stations. That cost is about $1,000 apiece.

Park Cedar Rapids provided the space and will pay for the electricity used by vehicles to charge up.

Gilbert Nunez, manager of business support at Alliant Energy, noted that while there are just a handful of true electric vehicles in Linn County now the total number nationwide is growing by about 30 percent a year.

Jon Rouse, general manager of Park Cedar Rapids, said sponsors see free power as an incentive to give electric vehicle owners a reason to come downtown.

“We think it will drive additional business into downtown. Those visitors driving electric vehicles coming into other communities will now have a destination they can come to and charge vehicles,” he said.

Alliant Energy says a few hours at the new charging stations should give the typical electric vehicle owner another 40 miles or so of driving range.

There is no cost to use the charging stations other than the cost of parking at one of the two downtown ramps.