WAC Magazine

November/December 2012

Issue link: http://www.wacmagazine.com/i/90851

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Sustainability By Darrick Meneken, Managing Editor Charging toward the future Y charging stations are up and running. "You just pull this out and plug it in," says WAC Parking Facility Manager Ed Hehman, demonstrating one of the five-pronged chargers recently installed in the WAC Garage. Each charging station looks something like a cross between a Dyson vacuum cleaner and an iPad. If you park at the WAC, you've driven past at least two of the Club's stations, both located on the first level within view of the payment booth. A third station is located on D level between two handicap spaces. "Our members are typically on the leading edge of what's happening," says Bill Cohen, Vice President Operations. ou might not know it, but the largest-ever distribution of electric-vehicle charging infrastructure is happening right now. And the WAC is part of it. In fact, our Three WAC electric vehicle parking stalls focus on sustainability "Electric vehicle use is growing. Going forward, there will only be more and more demand for it." There couldn't have been a better time to install the charging stations, which can take a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and other electric vehicles from empty to full in six to eight hours. A public-private partnership backed by the U.S. Department of Energy and dubbed the EV Project seeks to develop and study electric vehicle (aka "EV") charging. The project paid 85 percent of the $22,000 installation cost for the three WAC chargers. When drivers use the stations, a portion of what they pay comes back to the Club to help cover the cost of electricity. Drivers will also continue to pay standard parking rates for the WAC Garage. "We did this more from a standpoint of adding value for our members," Bill says. "We wanted to continue with our energy-conservation and sustainability efforts." ECOtality, the company leading the EV Project, was awarded $115 million from the Department of Energy to carry out the effort. "It is the largest deployment of EV charge infrastructure in history," says Katie Michel, communications associate with ECOtality, which manufactures and operates Blink brand car chargers. Electric vehicle owners who want to use the chargers must join the Blink system. A website, blinknetwork.com, and mobile app identify the location of the charging stations and indicate when they're vacant. vehicles and light trucks—also called plug-in vehicles— were registered in the city of Seattle, according to the state Department of Licensing. In King County, that number grows to 1,073. "We really try to pace our deployment of charging stations with the growth in [electric] vehicles," Michel says, noting there are about 550 total public Blink chargers in Washington and Oregon. When you consider that the WAC Garage has 314 As of this past September, 414 all-electric passenger parking spots, you realize the growth potential. For now, though, notes Bill, three chargers will more than serve the needs of WAC members. Dan O'Shea of ECOtality shows off one of the WAC Garage Blink chargers. 12 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | NOVEMBER / DECEMBER 2012 ANNA DE LA PAZ

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