BRADENTON -- Manatee Memorial Hospital will offer two free, accessible charging stations for electric vehicles in the hospital’s parking garage beginning Nov. 1.
The hospital is part of the local effort to accommodate new types of electric cars.
Bradenton has begun installing eight electric car-charging stations and two charging stations are planned for Lakewood Ranch, one on Main Street and the other at the visitor information center.
The hospital’s charging stations are located on the ground floor of the parking garage in the southwest corner near the parking garage elevator. The two stations can charge four cars at a time.
Electric vehicles will be demonstrating the charging process at the official 10 a.m. ribbon cutting held by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.
The units are covered from the weather and the public will have access 24/7.
The stations are designed to accommodate all-electric cars, such as the new Ford Focus Electric and the Nissan Leaf, as well as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Chevy Volt or the Fisker Karma.
The stations also will be able to re-charge other types of vehicles, such as electric golf carts and electric motorcycles.
According to City of Bradenton officials, construction has begun on similar charging stations and should be finished within a couple of weeks.
One site is near City Hall, 101 Old Main St., and another is near the South Florida Museum, 201 10th St. W.
Other stations are already in operation elsewhere, such as two free ones at Firkins Nissan, 1611 Cortez Road, which were installed almost a year ago.
The city received a donation of the vehicle-charging stations under the ChargePoint America Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy and Coulomb Technologies Inc., according to city documents.
Funds covering the $8,251.37 cost of installation, which is being accomplished by in-house staff, are from a Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the federal Department of Energy, according to city documents.
Bradenton intends to charge somewhere between $1 and $2 per hour to cover the city’s costs, officials said.
The stations will be connected to an online network, so drivers will be able to use their GPS systems to find them, or perhaps consult their smart phones to find a station that is vacant.