Nebraska's first public charge station for electric cars opened in Nebraska City on Jan. 7.
The city partnered with Coulomb Technologies to provide the charging station at the city hall parking lot, 1409 Central Ave.
City Administrator Joe Johnson said it is fitting for the home of Arbor Day to be first in the state for the public station.
“The station meets the recharging needs of environmentally conscious drivers and it fits our vision,” he said.
“The market is growing for electric vehicles,” Mayor Jack Hobbie said. “We are the home of Arbor Day and Nebraska City draws environmentally conscious travelers, so the electric vehicle charging station is a natural fit for our community,” he said.
There are charging stations at dealerships in Bellevue and Omaha, but this is the first charge station available on public grounds.
Johnson said motorists from Omaha and Lincoln could probably make the trip to Nebraska City and back on a full charge, but having the charge station here is reassuring for them.
Motorists with existing accounts with ChargePoint can use the station. There is a phone number posted at the station for new users to call.
Johnson said a three-hour charge would cost the user about 90 cents.
A Nissan Leaf uses 22 kilowatts for every 100 miles of driving, so it would cost $1.76. A full charge on the Leaf takes four to six hours.
Charge times vary depending on the vehicle and the amount of charge needed, but Leroy Frana of Nebraska City Utilities said the charging station is “level two,” meaning it charges faster than a typical overnight home station.
ChargePoint intends to establish a national grid of stations and Johnson applied to the company for a grant to construct the station.