Those with electric vehicles will soon pay to charge at Gretna’s charging points, located at the Nebraska Crossing Outlets and City Hall.
The Gretna City Council approved the fees as part of its Master Fee Schedule, adopted Oct. 1.
Both charging stations, part of the ChargePoint Network, are open to the public and have been free of charge since their installation in 2016. Electric vehicle owners access an app, which shows them a map of chargers in the area and allows them to book a time at a charger that may otherwise be in use.
The fees are not currently in effect, as the city plans to install a fast charger at the outlet mall, implementing the fees at that time.
“We get a lot of utilization down there,” City Administrator Jeff Kooistra said. “With the interstate, there are lots of people passing by that need a quick charge.”
The outlet mall chargers see nearly 50 different cars hooked up each month.
The charging stations in Gretna take about four hours to completely recharge a vehicle. The fast charger will take about 45 minutes to complete a full charge.
Fees for the chargers will be 50 cents per hour for the first four hours and $4 per hour after that with a minimum $1 charge. Fees for the fast charger will be $4 for the first hour and $8 per hour for every hour after that with a minimum $2 charge. Fees will be paid by credit card through the ChargePoint app.
The fees will help the city pay for maintenance on the chargers. The higher fees serve as a tool to encourage those done charging to unplug, opening up more availability for others.
“It’s an incentive to get that thing unplugged once it’s fully charged,” Kooistra said.
Though no timeline is set for when the fees will take effect, hopes are that the fast charger will be installed about a month from now.