Manasquan wants to be destination for electric car owners

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways June 9, 2016 12:03

Manasquan wants to be destination for electric car owners


Manasquan is trying to lure a new set of shoppers to its downtown.

By installing a two-stall charging station in one of its parking lots, town officials are hoping that drivers of electric cars won’t bypass Manasquan just because it’s off the beaten path for interstate motorists.

While their cars “fuel up,” Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan says, the owners can explore what the downtown has to offer.

“It’s good for Manasquan. It’s going to make Manasquan more available to people with electric cars,” the mayor said. “It’s good for the economy and the ecology.”

The effort to get a charging station started when Donovan was on council. The aim then, though, was to get a level-2 charging station – a charger that accommodates nearly all of the models of electric cars on the market – at the downtown’s main plaza.

Manasquan conservation area getting larger because of Hurricane Sandy
Manasquan conservation area getting larger because of Hurricane Sandy
Monmouth County bought a house damaged by Hurricane Sandy and is expected to have the structure demolished this year to create more access to Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, said Karen Livingstone, spokeswoman for county parks.

But Donovan said a grant for that work never came through. Instead, ChargePoint Inc, an electric car charger network, got wind of the town’s desire for a charging station and offered through the BMW/Volkswagen DC Express Corridor program to install a level -3 station, one that’s faster than a level 2 but accommodates more of the older models.

Now two stalls – delineated by green lines – have been set aside in the town’s South Street parking lot across from the plaza for electric car charging.

Motorists are charged 15 cents a minute to fuel up. Donovan said that price was set to help the town recoup what it would pay JCP&L for the electricity.

The town signed a three-year contract with ChargePoint. The borough can change the price of a charge at any time during the contract and if, after three years, it doesn’t see the need for the stations, ChargePoint will remove them, Donovan said. ChargePoint is also responsible for the maintenance under the contract, he said.

By participating in the Express Corridor program, Manasquan will now be listed among the locations offering charges within a certain distance of the Interstate 195 corridor.

“It’s a good way to market Manasquan as a destination,” Donovan said.

So far, there haven’t been many users since the ribbon cutting on May 28, Donovan said. But as the word spreads, Donovan said, he’s confident electric car owners will find the station.

This station doesn’t mean Manasquan has given up on getting a level-2 charger at the plaza. It just means, Donovan said, that town officials will have to work harder to get a grant for that project to make the town a little greener.

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways June 9, 2016 12:03