Electric car drivers could soon visit Frankfort without the worry of running out of juice.
The Frankfort Plant Board is in the planning stage of placing charging stations in various locations throughout the city for plug-in electric vehicles.
Though details of the nascent project are few so far, FPB Chair Anna Marie Pavlik Rosen has implied that the Plant Board would consider at least one charging station downtown.
“For (visitors), they can do two things at once,” Rosen said. “See the city (or) see the downtown and recharge their cars.”
In partnership with city government, the Plant Board would handle installation while the city would assume the responsibility of covering electrical costs for the stations.
Rosen said FPB Chief Electrical Engineer Vent Foster has met with Frankfort Public Works Deputy Director Keith Parker on the project and that the two are working on the details for implementation should the project receive approval from both the utility and the City of Frankfort.
“I think it’s a great move,” Rosen said. “It would kind of put us on the map.”
Currently, the closest public charging station that does not require a membership is in Midway, according to openchargemap.org.
In an email to The State Journal, Foster said that he would not be comfortable giving detailed information on a project that has not received approval but that he would be happy to share information if FPB and the city agree to proceed.
On Monday, Parker spoke to the Frankfort City Commission about the Plant Board’s initiative, saying he hoped to have a proposal to present to the commission in the coming weeks. When Commissioner Robert Roach asked if the project would cost the city any money, Parker said electric costs would be low.
“The electric cost is very cheap,” Parker said. “The car has to sit there several hours. It’s not like a gas station where they fill up in five minutes, so it’s a very, very nominal cost on our end with these electric charges.”
The Plant Board and city collaborated similarly last year by placing various water fountains near Frankfort parks. For that project, FPB paid for installation and the two entities split the cost of the fountains themselves.
The most recent Kentucky fact sheet by Plug in America, a non-profit advocacy group for plug-in electric vehicles, estimated there were more than 1,400 PEVs on Kentucky roads as of May 2017. The group states that more than 1 million plug-in vehicles have been sold in the United States.