Electric vehicle charging station coming to city hall

by Dan Holland

Members of Broadview Heights City Council approved a resolution at their June 20 meeting to accept a $49,805 supplemental community development grant from Cuyahoga County that will be used for the installation of an electric vehicle charging station at city hall.

Mayor Sam Alai said he expects two to four EV charging ports to be installed sometime this year along the northeast corner of city hall.

Assistance in securing the grant came from local resident Russ Bates, founder of NXTGEN Clean Energy Solutions, and former Broadview Heights Economic Development Director Kristina Sorensen, Alai added.

“The future is here; there’s no doubt,” said Alai. “So, we’ll be putting in a whole row along that east parking lot on the northeast corner of the building. I envision having a whole row of EV charging ports there at some point.”

Residents will have to pay to use the chargers, but a cost has not yet been determined. Alai said it is not intended to be a money-making venture for the city but rather a provided service for residents.

The next step for the city is to put out a request for qualifications to find a qualified contractor to install the ports. The city service department may be involved in running a conduit beneath the roadway in order to stretch the grant money as far as possible, Alai added.

“Everything is going to go to all-electric at some point, so we need to get this going,” said Alai. “The thing about electric vehicles is that you need to have a lot of charging port stations; you’ll have to have four or five times as many as you do gas stations because cars won’t be able to hold a charge as long as they can with filling up a tank with gas. But they’re not as obtrusive as a filling station, where you can just pull in to a parking lot to recharge.”

Alai said the EV charging station fits in well with goals determined in the city’s master plan, which was updated and approved by city council in September 2021. A recent Internet search revealed only one EV charging station in the city, located at 1057 W. Royalton Rd.

“The [charging stations] are few and far between,” Alai continued. “But if we revisit this a year or two from now, I’m sure it will be quite different. It will reach critical mass sooner than people think, because they’re building more and more of these, and the need is there. It’s a supply and demand situation for which you’re going to have to have these things in place. It also provides a needed service for the residents.” 

“These electric cars are on the road now; you used to see two or three a month, and now you see two or three a day,” he added. “By no means will we be behind the curve on this; we want to be on the curve as it’s happening.” ∞