Electric vehicle charging stations will be installed in Lewes in the coming weeks.
Mayor and city council unanimously approved placing the stations at the stoned parking lot on Schley Avenue and at Otis Smith Park, off Savannah Road. One Tesla-specific and one universal charging station will be placed at each location.
The stations will be provided by electric vehicle enthusiast Paul Evalds, owner of Avatar Instruments. “It’s to bring people in off the highway,” Evalds said. “It’s to put us on the map and show we’re getting stuff done and moving forward.”
Lewes will literally be on the map after the chargers are installed. By having Tesla-specific chargers, Tesla will place each location on its map for drivers looking for public chargers. They are even included in the navigation system of Tesla vehicles, he said.
When installed, Lewes will have the only free, public Tesla destination chargers in the entire state. Only two other Tesla chargers are in place, at the Bellmoor Inn in Rehoboth Beach and at Hyatt Place in Dewey Beach, but each is inside private parking areas.
Though Lewes will be the first Delaware town to embrace both universal and Tesla chargers, it will follow a robust effort from Ocean City, Md., officials, who've added 17 electric car charging stations since 2015, including 11 Tesla chargers.
Evalds is donating the equipment to the Lewes Board of Public Works, which will install and maintain the chargers. Cost to install is estimated at $6,000. Cost of electricity will be initially covered by grants from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control in the amount of $500 per charger. BPW General Manager Darrin Gordon said he expects the rebates to cover about six months’ worth of electricity.
Electric car charging stations are being installed throughout the Cape Region. In the last few years, universal chargers have been installed at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the Lewes Transit Center, all three Tanger Outlet shopping centers, and near the north end of the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. Several private businesses and hotels also have chargers.
To find an electric charger, go to www.plugshare.com.