|June 23, 2014 - The City of Knoxville has reached an agreement with CarCharging Group Inc., the largest owner, operator and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services, for the continued operation and maintenance of 14 of the 24 Blink EV charging stations installed at various City parks and parking areas.
The stations were originally deployed in association with the Department of Energy's EV Project, which covered associated operations and maintenance costs until earlier this year.
As a part of the agreement, CarCharging will continue to own and operate 14 of the City's Blink EV charging stations, located at Caswell Park, Ijams Nature Center, Sequoyah Park, State Street Garage, Victor Ashe Park, West Hills Park and the Jackson Avenue parking lot.
On July 1, Blink's current-standard charging fees of $1 per hour for Blink members and $2 per hour for Blink guests will be applied to these stations. (Because of a start-up subsidy provided by the Department of Energy, there has been no usage charge to date for these stations.)
"We are excited to work with CarCharging to keep these Blink electric vehicle charging stations up and running at City parking facilities," said Erin Gill, Director of the City's Office of Sustainability. "These stations are critical to supporting the use of vehicles that consume less energy and produce fewer emissions."
CarCharging's founder, meanwhile, pledged "exceptional service."
"We are proud to continue the partnerships with the Blink hosts that participated in the EV Project, such as the City of Knoxville," said Michael D. Farkas, CarCharging's Founder and Chief Executive Officer. "With the various new business models that we have available and the enhancements made to the Blink Network, we are confident that we can provide Blink hosts and members with exceptional service."
The City of Knoxville's Blink Level II EV charging stations quickly recharge an electric vehicle's battery. EV drivers can easily request Blink's InCard at www.BlinkNetwork.com to initiate use and payment at these locations.
Blink's InCard also allows drivers to use charging locations on the Blink Network, the software that operates, monitors and tracks the Blink stations and all of its charging data. CarCharging's EV charging stations also accept direct payment via credit card.
Users can pinpoint the City's EV charging station locations using the maps at www.BlinkNetwork.com or www.CarCharging.com, or the Blink and CarCharging mobile applications.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will continue to operate the 6 Blink EV charging stations at the Knoxville Coliseum Auditorium and 4 Blink EV charging stations at the Market Square Garage through September 30, 2014, with no changes to their current charging fee policy, which is currently free.
The City of Knoxville signed an agreement with ORNL in 2011 to host two solar PV arrays, two battery storage systems, and 10 electric vehicle charging stations between the Market Square Garage and Civic Coliseum parking garage. ORNL installed these 10 stations as part of a statewide DOE research project to examine the interaction between solar energy, battery storage and EVSE usage.
ORNL is collecting data at the two parking garages through September 30th.
For more information about the City's 24 Electric Vehicle charging stations, please visit www.cityofknoxville.org/sustainability.
For more information about the electric vehicle infrastructure throughout the region, please visit www.etcleanfuels.org/evse-locations.