With the number of electric and hybrid cars on the rise the need for charging stations has risen as well. In Kent there are currently 10 charging stations throughout the town, with three of them found on the University. Out of these 10 stations all but one of them charge the user, the ones on campus cost only $0.50 per hour. Typically these fast chargers take around half an hour to charge a car up to 80% so even with the cost of charging it ends up being cheaper than filling up a tank of gas. Not only do hybrid cars save money, they are also better on the planet.
At the recent Council Committee Meeting on October 7th 2020 the Electric Vehicle Charging Station Grant submission was approved. This grant is funded by the Ohio EPA to help develop sustainable living possibilities. If awarded the city will receive $30 thousand to build two new dual port charging units which would add four new charging spots for electric cars. These spots would be located at the new Administration building being built by the city, which will be where the old police station was on the corner of South Water Street and Haymaker Parkway. These four charging stations would be free to use for any hybrid or electric car.
Community Development Director Bridget Susel believes Kent is a good candidate for this grant because Portage County was listed as a first priority county. “The first priority counties, there are 16 listed, and one of those is Portage county,” Susel said. “There are 88 counties in Ohio, so being in a priority county gave us an advantage.”
This step towards renewable energy sources in not something new to Kent. The sustainability council had worked on initiatives and encouraging the use alternative energies throughout the city. “The city of Kent has always been committed to sustainability,” Susel said. “Kent has always been on the forefront of that sustainability movement and this obviously aligns perfectly with those goals and objectives.”
The winners of this grant will be announced by the end of the year with the funds being available in 2021.
You can re-watch the meeting on the City of Kent YouTube channel.