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Shared EV leads the way

The Garden Cottages development going in at North Laurel Street and Mountain View Drive will include a new departure in emission-free transportation. If it succeeds — and there is every reason to think it will — it could be the start of a trend that will put Ashland on the map as a sustainable community.

The development of 12 one- and two-bedroom cottages will include a shared electric vehicle for residents to use. The vehicle will be charged on site, and residents will schedule use with a smartphone app. Eventually, the vehicle will become a community asset owned in common by the residents and maintained by them through a monthly fee.

That will add one more to the 700 electric vehicles registered in Ashland, which account for 76% of the EVs in the county.

Not only will the vehicle fit in with Ashland’s sustainable esthetic and help the city toward its Climate and Energy Action Plan goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it should allow residents of the project to get by with only one car or even no car at all.

Mark Knox, a founding partner of KDA homes, the developer, says the project is the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Designed to utilize solar power, the intent is for the development to produce more electricity than it uses.

KDA has plans for another development with two EVs. If other builders follow the company’s lead, it will go a long way toward a sustainable future.