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Eastpointe installs electric vehicle charging unit at City Hall

By: Bria Brown | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 2, 2018

 An electric car charging unit has recently been installed at Eastpointe City Hall, 23200 Gratiot Ave. There’s no fee to charge an electric vehicle.

An electric car charging unit has recently been installed at Eastpointe City Hall, 23200 Gratiot Ave. There’s no fee to charge an electric vehicle.

Photo provided city of Eastpointe

EASTPOINTE — Eastpointe recently installed an electric vehicle charging unit that is free of charge to its residents at Eastpointe City Hall, 23200 Gratiot Ave.

Eastpointe Special Projects Manager Joseph Merucci said the city talked about doing this originally in 2016, but at the time, it was very expensive and the amount of money stopped the city from moving forward on the project. 

“When we knew we were redoing the parking lot, after we removed the old asphalt, we trenched (for the power lines) as part of the parking lot reconstruction from where it’s located to the building. (That cost to finish the charging station project is) what stopped us from doing it,” said Merucci. 

The city purchased the charging unit last year and installed it the week of June 11. The installation of the unit cost the city $1,950, and the charging unit cost $2,251. 

The City Council recently approved the city’s budget, and the city has thought about purchasing an electric vehicle, but it wouldn’t be for at least a year. These plans haven’t been finalized, said Merucci. 

“We knew we were redoing the lot and thought electric vehicles are only going to become more popular, so why not put in the charging station? And we’re prepping: If there is a greater demand, we have a possibility to add (charging units),” he said. 

When the Eastpointe City Hall parking lot was repaved, wiring was put in place to add additional charging units. The city would have to purchase the units. 

Merucci said he believes that this is the first charging unit in Eastpointe. 

The charging unit uses 240 volts and takes between three and four hours to charge a vehicle.

The City Council did not have to approve of this, according to Merucci. This project began under former City Manager Steve Duchane, and Merucci believes Duchane “informed council about what was going on.”

The funds for this project came from the capital improvement fund and were part of the parking lot project, Merucci said. 

Eastpointe Mayor Suzanne Pixley said the unit allows the city to be progressive with the electric car community. 

“This is something that was planned in our parking lot revamp. There are some people who are purchasing electric cars, and this is our way to be progressive and provide one (charging unit) to see how often it’s used,” she said.