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It Doesn't Run on Gas, You've Gotta Charge It!

Electric cars are making their way into Southwest Florida, but are there car charging stations to go with them?

If you’re thinking about investing in an electric car anytime soon, it’s important to know where, when and how much it will cost to give your car power.

HOW TO CHARGE YOUR ELECTRIC CAR?

The process of charging your car is actually pretty easy, whether it’s at home or at a public charging station.

At home, it can be charged just like you plug up your TV.

The other option is to use a car charging station. You just connect the station’s plug to your car – and voila. Some vehicles may require their own plug to charge, but most station plugs are universal. It can take between 30 minutes to 4 hours to fully charge the car, depending on the size of the battery.

WHERE CAN YOU CHARGE YOUR ELECTRIC CAR?

There are several different stations you can use to charge your electric car around SWFL.

Lee County has three downtown locations where you’ll be charged 60 cents an hour. They can be found at:

  • The public parking lot off Heitman Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • Fort Myers Regional Library
  • Fort Myers Administration East Building

Tesla also has car charging stations along Florida’s turnpikes where you won’t be charged at all if you own a Tesla. These can be found at:

  • Gulf Coast Town Center
  • Naples Depot Museum at Tamiami Trail
  • 6 Mile Cypress across from Pollo Tropical

Clipper Creek, Charge Point, and EVGo are other charging station brands, in addition to Tesla.

To locate charging stations, you can use apps like Charge Point, EZEV, or log in to the website PlugShare.com. You can also see reviews about the stations from other electric car owners.

HOW TO GET A CAR CHARGING STATION AT YOUR HOME?

If you don’t feel like finding a public place to charge your car, you can get a home charger. But they can get pretty pricey.

The price of installing a charging station can range from $1,500 to up to $3,000.

You’ll also have to consider the payment for the electrician who does the installation, as well as the cost of electricity.

In previous years, electric car owners who lived in apartments or condos weren’t able to have at-home charging stations. But since July 1, 2018 condo owners are allowed to install charging stations for its tenants – but not without some restrictions.

Condo owners must pay to install a separate electric meter and pay for the electricity the station would use.

The owner’s insurance also has to name the association as an additional insured, and if the association’s insurance premium goes up because of the charging station, the owner has to pay the increase.

These are just some of the rules owners have to follow.

In this case, ‘owner’ is the keyword. If you’re just renting a space on the property, you probably won’t have too much say on whether you’ll be getting a charging station.

Additional reporting by Jalyn Henderson

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