Public Chargers in Ann Arbor, Michigan Getting Used 80% of the Day; Chargers So Crowded That City Hopes to Install More

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 13

Charger Usage in Ann Arbor

Charger Usage in Ann Arbor

It took awhile, but now there’s an overcrowding issue that needs to be solved.

Wonder if Those Sister Cities Are as Fond of Charging as Ann Arbor

Wonder if Those Sister Cities Are as Fond of Charging as Ann Arbor

More than a year ago, the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan installed 18 public charging stations.  Initially, these chargers were seldom used, but now they’re basically at capacity.

At the Libray Lane parking structure there are 6 public chargers.  Those chargers are essentially in use 80% of the day.

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) tracks usage, which allows Dave Konkle, DDA energy programs director, to definitively state this:

“It’s not that unusual to see all six charger spots filled up in the Library Lot.  We are getting something like 80 percent use of our car chargers each day.”

As Konkle says of the Forest Avenue chargers, eight plug-in vehicle owners coordinate with each other on a daily basis to make use of only two chargers:

“They park there all day, so they have little notations and a little system where once their car is charged, they call in the next guy, and they come and they just move their car and let the next guy charge.”

University of Michigan professor Vicki Ringold says she doesn’t even bother to try to get a charge at the Forest Avenue site anymore, as it’s just too crowded.  Instead, Ringold make use of the chargers at the Ann Ashley site.

Ringold adds that there’s typically a lineup of plug-ins waiting to charge at all of the various sites around the city.

Luckily, the DDA realizes that there’s an issue and that more chargers are needed.  The process is now underway to get additional public charge points installed.

Source: MLive

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13 responses to "Public Chargers in Ann Arbor, Michigan Getting Used 80% of the Day; Chargers So Crowded That City Hopes to Install More"

  1. David Murray says:

    This is good news considering all of the news stories from other cities where the chargers never get used. Of course, I suspect this is mostly due to the location of their chargers not being near anything useful.

    1. io says:

      I suspect that cost might be the deciding factor actually. Are the Ann Arbor stations free?

      IMHO public charging stations should be priced the same or higher than what people would pay at home. Freeloaders charging during the day instead of at night may not only prevent access to drivers having a legitimate need to charge, they also negatively impact the grid and its overall cleanliness.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        Yes, Ann Arbor chargers are free.

        Cleanliness depends on the baseload source. What the freechargers definitely do is negatively impact economics of the grid, and they are _liable_ negatively to impact the cleanliness and efficiency of the grid.

        However, opportunity charging can sometimes also be a symptom of issues with availability of home charging. That’s the real problem that needs support legislative support.

        1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

          … at least until the market becomes well-established and market forces will clear the barriers in most locations and popular demand will allow structured munipal support of on-street charger installation.

    2. qwertry says:

      Location isn’t the reason that chargers don’t get used, price is the reason they don’t get used. The public chargers in Ann Arbor are FREE!!! That’s why they get used 80% of the time! If people had to pay for the charge, they’d be used a lot less frequently.

      1. David Murray says:

        Even a free station in the middle of nowhere will not get used except on rare occasion when somebody is in great need.

        1. qwerty says:

          But the opposite is also true. A costly pay charger in the middle of a city will not get used except on rare occasion when somebody is in great need.

    3. MMcI says:

      To be clear, the electricity is free, but the parking is not. You still have to pay to park there, but there is no *extra* fee to charge while you are racking up your parking fee. And yes… they are very conveniently located close to many excellent entertainment, shopping, and dining choices.

  2. kdawg says:

    Tailgating at a UofM football game last fall, I tried charging at a spot in Ann Arbor I found using Plugshare. Got iced. Drove around for a bit and saw a parking deck that had chargers. Yay 🙂

    1. Aaron says:

      Can a Volt get ICEd? You have a backup; EV drivers don’t.

      1. kdawg says:

        Yes, if you’re wanting to charge and there’s an ICE car in an EV spot. Probably more correct to say the spot was ICE’d, not so much my vehicle. Although, if I hadn’t charged, my Volt would have been forced to go into ICE mode, so I guess I could say my Volt got ICE’d too.

        1. Steve T says:

          Yes, I’d agree that your Volt got ICE’d. I sure hope that just because you happen to have an ICE backup, nobody is suggesting that you can’t get ICE’d. That would be ridiculous, and a bit nerdy. BTW, glad you were able to get home on grid electrons, rather than gas in this case…..isn’t that the whole point of all of this?? Go kdawg!

      2. John Hansen says:

        Oh, I see what you did there, you implied that the Volt isn’t an EV.

        That actually isn’t very clever, and it’s pretty stupid of you to say that. You see, the anti-EV crowd really loves in-fighting amongst EV owners. The oil industry gives you a big thumbs up for your contribution to their cause! Besides which, I’ll bet most Volt drivers put more EV miles on their volts than you do on your i-Miev.

        Seriously, knock it off, dummy.