The city announced this week that its electrical vehicle charging stations in downtown Evanston’s Maple Avenue garage were used for nearly 80 individual charging sessions in its first month of service.

The average session lasted three hours for the free juice at the two charging ports, the city said in a news release.

Second Ward Ald. Peter Braithwaite lauded the installation of the chargers and noted that “guests from the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn and visitors to the nearby shops and entertainment venues can charge their vehicles while they spend time and money in downtown Evanston.”

The dual connection station was installed March 22 for less than $12,000, which was funded by the Parking Fund. Half of that expense will be repaid to the city as a rebate from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Due to the success of the Maple Avenue station, the city will be looking to expand the program to other public parking garages.

The Maple Avenue Garage station complements other charging stations available for public use. There are two stations at Parking Lot 4 (Central St. at Stewart Ave.) and there is a station with a solar canopy in Parking Lot 3 (northeast of the Main Evanston Public Library). Those three stations were installed through a partnership with I-Go that did not involve public funds, the city said.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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