Energy & Environmental Committee working with Aiken to bring car chargers downtown

April 15, 2019

You could soon see chargers for electric vehicles installed in downtown Aiken.

The Aiken Energy & Environmental Committee is working with the city to install the chargers in an agreeable location. The 100 block of Newberry Street, near the Aiken Tennis Club, was one such spot.

That could change, though, according to E&E Committee Chairwoman Elise Fox and City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh. Fox on Thursday said the new location may be closer to Park Avenue.

The E&E Committee is donating the chargers to the city alongside appropriate signage, according to Design Review Board documents dated March 5.

The whole deal, installation included, should be wrapped up within the next six months, Fox has said.

The chargers will be universal, meaning they “should work with any electric vehicle,” Fox said.

“It should take, depending on the vehicle, two to three hours to charge,” she explained.

Fox said the Newberry Street charging location was initially pitched for its high-profile, accessible nature.

“This will allow the city’s first-owned EV chargers to be located in a prominent location and encourage those passing through town to stop and enjoy downtown Aiken’s eating and shopping establishments,” a Feb. 26 letter from the E&E Committee to the Design Review Board reads.

Fox believes the chargers will foster interest in and awareness of alternative-fuel vehicles.

“We thought this would be a great way to do it,” she said.

“This location will also help bring attention the city’s green and sustainability efforts,” the Feb. 26 letter reads.

Fox said the charger initiative involved Bedenbaugh and Mike Pryzbylowicz, Aiken’s acting engineering and utilities director. Fox credited Pryzbylowicz with “most of the heavy lifting.”

Bedenbaugh on Thursday said the charger project is “in motion” but is still being ironed out. The project secured the Design Review Board’s blessing, the city manager added.