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New public garages Downtown look to add charge

Electric vehicles are quietly but inexorably coming to Memphis, where the number registered has doubled over the past two years.

That’s according to a four-page memorandum that the Downtown Memphis Commission’s transportation program manager Lauren Crabtree prepared for the Downtown Mobility Authority, which oversees parking facilities.

Titled “EV Charging Recommendations for DMA Facilities,” Crabtree and the DMC staff recommend the authority consider two new policies:

— Require that 5% of spaces in any new, authority-affiliated parking garages be built to easily and more affordably be converted to “Level 2” charging stations.

The DMC labels such spaces as “EV ready,” meaning that as new parking facilities are built electrical panels and conduit capacity be installed to accommodate stations that can fully charge a vehicle in five to seven hours.

“This preparation and advance planning can make installation of future charging stations easier and less expensive,” the memo states;

— And, require the DMC staff to review each six months the rate of use of electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garages. The twice yearly assessments will gauge the growth of demand and prepare for adding new chargers when needed.

Crabtree went over the staff research and report for the Downtown Mobility Authority late afternoon Wednesday, March 19.

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