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Inside Scoop: Greensboro may get solar car charging station

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City of Greensboro graphic (use this)

Downtown may soon get its first public electric car-charging station.

Asheville-based Brightfield Transportation Solutions offered to install solar panels and a car charging station on city land at no cost to Greensboro.

The council will consider the project at Tuesday night's meeting.

The city staff proposed doing the project at the South Elm Street public parking lot next to Ham's downtown.

Stephen Carter, from the city's department of transportation, said Greensboro had already been exploring ways to build public charging stations.

"Indications are that the electronic vehicle market is poised to expand significantly over the next 10 years," Carter wrote in a memo.

Brightfield is working with the North Carolina Plug-in Electric Vehicle Task Force, Nissan North America and others to build 20 charging stations in and around Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro, according to its website.

If the city council approves the project, Brightfield will pay Greensboro $1 a year for space in the parking lot. The proposed agreement would be good for 10 years, after which the city may buy the equipment.

The company will be responsible for construction, installation, maintenance and on-going electrical costs for the charging station.

Brightfield will install enough solar panels on top of a small shelter. The station will have two, Level 2 charging stations and a DC fast charger, which can charge a vehicle in 30 minutes, according to Brightfield.

People who use the spaces will be charged the regular city parking fees and an additional cost to plug in. Carter said the cost will be nominal, perhaps $1.50 an hour. That plug-in fee goes to Brightfield.

Carter said the station could be built and running in two or three months, if it is approved by the council.

There are about 100 electric vehicles registered in Guilford County, Carter said.

Contact Amanda Lehmert at (336) 373-7075, and follow @alehmert on Twitter.

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