At Bayfront Park and in downtown Petoskey, 4 electric vehicles (EVs) charging stations will be installed

With the help of a state grant, Petoskey will build four additional electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the city.

Two of the charging stations will be put in Bayfront Park, with the remaining two being erected downtown — one at Elks Lot and the other at the Darling Lot, respectively, to replace the existing charging station. The overall price, including installation and other costs, is expected to be $178,466.98.

Since last year, Petoskey has been considering the prospect of more vehicle charging stations, prompted in part by a public inquiry about the absence of electric vehicle utilities for people with streetside parking, which is a reality in many areas of the city.

Following those plans, the city became eligible for a grant from the state’s “Charge Up Michigan” award program, which is sponsored by the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy Department and is designed to stimulate the installation of charging points in high-demand regions. The grant program is often established so that the local municipality, the state, and the electric utility each contribute a third of the project’s cost.

Attributed to the reason that Petoskey administers its own electricity system, the state has offered to fund two-thirds of the sum due to a specific request.

In a council meeting, Mike Robbins, who is the Petoskey Department of Public Works director, remarked, “Don’t ask; don’t get.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with them (EGLE).  There aren’t many stipulations tied to this.”

The proposals from two businesses to bring the project to completion were unanimously approved by Petoskey city council members.

Blink Network, LLC of Miami Beach will provide the stations to the city, as well as networking, management, and maintenance services over a five-year period. The entire cost will be just over $82,000.

The stations will be installed by Select Electric in Petoskey for roughly $27,000.

For their part of the bill, Petoskey allocated $60,000 from the electric fund.

“I appreciate that it may appear like we’re favoring a small portion of the population, but I congratulate our city for being proactive and reaping the benefits of state funds, in this case, triple our match,” stated councilman Derek Siels. “And I believe that the $60,000 investment will be repaid by the benefits of possessing these charging stations.”

One “Level 3” charging station as well as three “Level 2” charging stations will be included in the equipment.

Level 1 provides 140 volts, Level 2 provides 240 volts, and Level 3 provides a 3-phase power system that runs from 208 to 480 volts, referring to the stations’ generating capacity and spectrum of usable charge. Only specific, higher-end car types are compatible with level three stations, which can charge vehicles with sufficient power to run for up to 80 miles in 20 minutes, relative to 20 miles within 60 minutes for level 2 stations.

Because it will not operate on the very same system as the others, the city’s only existing public charging station, situated at the Darling Lot, will be decommissioned. However, when the city’s fleet of electric cars grows, Robbins believes it may be moved for utilization by city vehicles.

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