Company pitches ‘no cost’ electric vehicle charging option downtown

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MANISTEE — The city of Manistee may have an option to have two electric vehicle charging stations downtown through a statewide initiative that aims to include small municipalities into a broader charging network.

Manistee City Council heard a presentation by Kevin Kardel, chief operating officer for HAGE Auto, which focuses on electric vehicle charging.

Kardel said the state is working toward building more electric vehicle infrastructure as some vehicle makers have announced they will only be creating electric vehicles starting in the next three or four years.

He said when downtown municipalities opt in to joining the network it “allows each of those cities to get on the map” when drivers go from location to location and are in need of a charging location.


“Typically what we do for most of the municipalities is we target destination charging parking lots, public parking close to downtown restaurants and shops or theaters,” he said. “And so for people that are coming into town that stop in town, have dinner, do some shopping, spend one to two hours in that location — that’s where we would want to keep the charger.”


He pointed out that he had seen two or three parking lots in town that would be considered an ideal location for charging stations.

Council member Lynda Beaton asked if the charging stations would be compatible with golf carts as the city allows golf carts on its streets. Kardel said they are unlikely to be compatible with golf carts.

He said the charging station would be universally compatible for all electric vehicles that are currently on the market, including Teslas.


“My company is partnered with Enel X which is a manufacturer of EV charging equipment,” Kardel said. “They’re backing my company to (roll) out a Michigan/national EV charging (initiative).”

He said the Michigan plan targets downtown municipalities and “destination charging options.”

He referenced a previous Michigan State University study on prime cities to build electric vehicle charging stations for a network.

“And Manistee is one of those main spots along (there),” he said.

He said the company has pitched a “no-cost EV charging option for downtown parking” to about 50 municipalities in the state.

He said HAGE would pay for the hardware, installation, maintenance and anything that may go wrong with the chargers over the life of the agreement.

“In exchange for two to four parking spaces, we’ll provide a monthly revenue share back to the city, back to the site host for allowing us to use the parking spots,” Kardel said.

He said most contracts are between 5 and 10 years depending on the technology being used.

“They are designed to be faster than what the current cars on the market can accept to date,” Kardel said. “The current vehicles can only accept up to 11.5 killowats per hour; these chargers go up to 19.2.”

He said in 2024 and 2025, vehicles will be able to accept the higher rate of charging speed.

Kardel said there would also be an option for people to pay to use the chargers via a phone app.

Thad Taylor, Manistee city manager, said at the meeting that if council is interested in the concept, he would suggest having the Manistee Downtown Development Authority select several locations if it is also interested.

“And then I can bring it back to council to approve the service agreement for additional consideration,” Taylor said.



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