Electric Vehicle Chargers Added in the Garland Parking Garage
Two electric-vehicle-charging stations are up and running in the Garland Avenue parking garage, UA officials said.
“Anyone that signs up for the program at mychargepoint.net can use it,” said Andy Gilbride, parking and transit representative. “The only money it would cost is a parking permit or an hourly meter charge.”
Not only do the stations charge cars, but they use any other electrically powered vehicle as well, Gilbride said.
The university partnered with Coulomb Technologies, Inc. to install the stations.
Coulomb Technologies boasts the largest network of charging stations in the world and has expanded into 14 countries since starting up in 2009, according to their website.
Though none of their home chargers have been installed in the region, Gilbride anticipates more interest in the stations as word gets out, he said.
“We haven’t seen anyone using it yet,” he said, “but we’ve had a few faculty and staff ask about it.”
The Northwest Arkansas market is evolving, and the U of A’s installation of the charging station was part of a wider test market across college campuses, said Guy Mannino, Coulomb representative.
“This market is about to be developed because electric cars started being sold on the east coast and are moving inward,” he said. “It’s kind of a test market right now to get usage data.”
Companies in Northwest Arkansas will play a vital role in the market’s expansion, Mannino said.
“Walmart and [J.B.] Hunt will play a role, and Northwest Arkansas will be an important market,” he said. “We already have a number of stations in Arkansas.”
The UA station is the sixth in the state and the first in Northwest Arkansas, according to Coulomb Technologies website, and other west coast states like California have hundreds in operation.
The availability of electric cars become mainstream in Arkansas by the end of the year, and the diversity in brands will also expand, Mannino said.
“There’s pretty much two cars in the market right now, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt,” he said. “By the end of the year there will be two more brands: Mitsubishi and Ford. The consumer will have more choices.”