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Louisville Electric Car Group Hopes New Public Charger Will Be First of Many


Louisville’s electric vehicle enthusiast group will cut the ribbon this weekend on the group’s first public vehicle charger.

The charger is located at the Green Building, on East Market Street. It’s an effort of EVolve KY: the state's electric vehicle — or “EV” — owner’s group.

“One of the things we wanted to do was increase the number of charging points in and around Louisville,” EVolve KY President Stuart Ungar said. “So this is kind of a huge deal for us, to actually realize a main goal and move forward with that.”

The program is called “Adopt-a-Charger.” Ungar’s group finds business sponsors willing to pay the installation costs of installing a charging station, and then looks for businesses interested in hosting the charger and paying for the electricity it uses — costs which Ungar says are nominal.

The two new electric car charging spots at the Green Building were both occupied late Tuesday morning. A red Tesla was charging in one spot. In the other was Ungar’s blue Nissan Leaf, which he has driven since 2011. He said he’s been sold on the cost savings and convenience of electric vehicles.

“Basically, I roll up at the end of the day and plug it in at night and I’m good to go in the morning,” he said. “I don’t ever have to go to a gas station, which is worth it right there.”

Ungar says he gets about 85 miles on a full charge, though newer Leaf models can go slightly further. Teslas have larger ranges, but also cost significantly more. Either way, Ungar said his car has required little maintenance costs.

“No oil changes, no transmission, no belts, no transmission fluid, no exhaust system, no spark plugs or glow plugs or alternator or any of those things,” Ungar said. “It’s basically wheels, an electric motor and batteries.”

The U.S. Department of Energy estimated last year that there were 234,000 plug-in electric vehicles and 3.3 million hybrids on the road.

There are currently nine public electric vehicle charging stations in Louisville; six of them are at car dealerships. EVolve KY is working on several more “adopt-a-charger” spots.

The new charger at the Green Building will be officially unveiled at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.