January 25, 2019

Charging Stations for Electric Cars May be Installed Uptown and on Campus

Charging stations for Teslas and other electric cars may soon be part of the Oxford streetscape.

At their Jan. 2 meeting, the Oxford Environmental Commission discussed ongoing talks between Tesla, the city of Oxford and Miami University on the feasibility of installing such stations around the city and the campus.

“We have had this planned since 2018,” said David Treleaven, an environmental specialist on the commission. “But we want to get the ball rolling in 2019.”

As envisioned, each station would have three to four charging units, with one or two solely for Teslas, said Treleaven. A Tesla can use any charging unit, but one designed specifically for it takes less time for a full charge, he said

These stations could be placed in the Uptown parking garage, the Elms Hotel, the Hampton Inn at Stewart Square and other locations in the city. On campus, a station would be located in the Pearson parking lot located behind the right field fence of McKie Field at Hayden Park. That station would be available to drivers without Miami parking permits.

If approved by Tesla representatives, Tesla would provide the charging equipment, $1,500 to install each charging station, and perform maintenance and upkeep regularly, according to Treleaven.

Dr. Andor Kiss, director of Miami’s Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, has worked with Tesla representative, Joe Williams, and said that the $1,500 amount would be sufficient for the cost of installation.

According to Miami University Police Capt. Ben Spilman, who directs the university’s parking and transportation services, Tesla will provide equipment to the university consisting of two Tesla-specific chargers and two universal chargers, plus a $6,000 installation subsidy.

“This will cover the cost of installation on concrete pads and running power to the chargers from the North wall of the North Campus Garage to the South edge of the Pearson lot where the chargers will be located,” said Spilman.

The idea for the charging stations came from an Environmental Commission meeting last year, when a citizen asked why the charging stations at the Marcum Hotel and Conference Center had been removed.

Kiss called Miami University Physical Facilities (PFD) to investigate that question, only to discover the company which had provided and maintained the charging stations had gone bankrupt. Kiss then contacted Williams, at Tesla, about the possibility of bringing back charging stations to Miami and Oxford.

Spilman said Miami began its search for a vendor in January 2018 and decided to go with Tesla.

The voltage of these charging stations is much higher than the 120-volt charging outlet used for electrical scooters, so they cannot be used for the Bird or Lime scooters on campus.

It takes about three to four hours to fully charge an electric car, so according to Kiss, “The concept is that people would visit the shops, restaurants, or stay overnight and the city and or the business would recoup the cost of charging the vehicles, which is about $5 per full charge.”

On campus, however, there will be an hourly rate applied for how long it takes to charge. included in the cost to park in the space via the parking meter

Charging stations for Tesla cars show on the company’s mapping app. Kiss said that drivers using the Tesla app, seeing that they could recharge their cars in Oxford, might result in attracting more visitors to the city.