Electric vehicle owners can power up while dining or shopping in Southlake, as the city is now home to an EV charging station at Southlake Town Square.
Through a partnership with TXU Energy, the city was awarded a ChargePoint station for two parking spaces, located on the ground floor of the west parking garage next to the Grand Avenue entrance.
Southlake joins a growing list of cities and retailers to begin installing EV charging stations. A map on Chargepoint.com shows locations in the DFW area including the Cinemark in Roanoke, Kohl’s in Keller and Whole Foods in Colleyville.
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According to a city spokesperson, Keller officials have held discussion about adding EV charging stations in Old Town Keller.
Finding the right location for the stations can be challenging. Grapevine has five EV chargers in three locations — two in front of Esparza’s Restaurant, two at the Grapevine Golf Course and one in the parking lot of the city’s train station. Of the five, only the two at Esparza’s will remain, according to city officials.
Grapevine spokeswoman Mona Burk said on average the stations are used only about once a week.
The two in the parking lot at the Grapevine Golf Course will be discontinued at some point because of lack of use, Burk said.
The charging station in the parking lot of the Grapevine train station also will be discontinued, as the area is being revamped because of TEX Rail coming to that location, she said.
“We will not be adding additional stations unless we see an increase in overall usage,” Burk said.
One reason people may not use them as much in town is that many of the newer EVs are equipped to stay charged for longer periods of time, Southlake resident Ross Melbourne said.
Melbourne said one charge will get his 2013 Tesla Model S about 240 miles of travel around the city.
“Due to the large range of a Tesla, it is rare that I need to use a charging station except for long journeys out of town,” Melbourne said. “I plug my car into my garage at night, so just like my cellphone, it is always fully charged and ready to go in the morning.”
Melbourne said more spots may be necessary in the future, as the industry changes.
“I think we are soon going to see the cost of owning and running an electric car becoming lower than a regular gas-powered car,” he said. “Electric cars are fun to drive because they are silent, fast and environmentally friendly, and soon they will become the smart choice economically for almost everyone.”