There are electric-car charging stations at OSF and SOU. Do the people who use them pay for the power? If so, do they pay the same rate that Ashland residents pay?

— Brian G., Ashland


Thanks to the popularity of a certain electric luxury car, tax credits and some federal grants, plug-in vehicles and places to charge them are more common than ever. 

That doesn't mean those Tesla and Chevy Volt drivers are all getting a free ride on the electric highway. The EV station you mention near OSF is actually inside a city of Ashland parking structure.

Although the four charging stations were funded through a U.S. Department of Energy federal grant, they're not free. The city of Ashland charge stations, located in the Lithia/Pioneer parking lot and Hargadine parking structure, costs 49 cents per kilowatt-hour, or 10 cents less for members of the Blink EV charger network. 

Those rates are much higher than an Ashlander pays for power at home, but the costs cover payment for infrastructure and equipment maintenance, as well as power used. Residents of Ashland pay roughly 6.5 and 8 cents per kilowatt hour depending on usage.

As for charging stations at Southern Oregon University, there are now eight EV charging stations on campus, according to Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator Roxane Beigel-Coryell. Six are located in the parking lot south of Shasta Hall, and two installed just this week are located in Lot 27 near the Computer Services and Science building. The two new ones charge fees of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, plus fees of 50 cents an hour for the first four hours and $1 an hour after that for EV drivers without an SOU parking permit, all processed through ChargePoint. The six near Shasta Hall are currently free but will be adopting the same fees soon.

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