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Apartment Complexes Can Apply for Rebates on Electric Car Chargers

Apartment Complexes Can Apply for Rebates on Electric Car Chargers Columbus Dispatch (08/16/17) Perry, Kimball

In an effort to encourage the use of electric cars, Smart Columbus has offered to spend approximately $170,000 in rebates to owners and developers who install charging stations in apartment and condo developments. The rebates are offered because studies have shown that at least 80 percent of charging for electric vehicles is done at home. Many apartment and condo communities lack garages, where charging stations are typically placed. The $170,000 for rebates comes from a $10 million grant from Vulcan Inc. via the Paul G. Allen Co., part of $50 million Columbus was awarded when it was designated a Smart City. It beat out more than 75 other applicants in the summer of 2016 to win that designation.

It will be up to each apartment owner to decide how the charging stations will operate, Bud Braughton, senior project manager for Smart Columbus, said. For instance, they could be like gas stations where a credit card or phone app can pay for the charge. Otherwise, the cost could be added to rent or lease payments. "It's going to be a process. You're not going to be able to plug in tomorrow," concluded Kristian Fenner of the city's Division of Power. In 2015, only about one-third of 1 percent of vehicles sold in Central Ohio were electric. The new rebates program aims to increase that rate to 1.8 percent over the next three years.