Museum plans city's first electric vehicle charging station
The Dickinson Museum Center plans to install the city's first electric vehicle charging station.
The station would be located on Museum Drive, at the parking lot shared by the museum and the Dickinson Convention & Visitors Bureau.
It will be installed near the museum's Pioneer Machinery Building, museum Director Robert Fuhrman said.
"The Stark County Historical Society part of our advisory board has already put a bunch of money into the building itself," he said. "The building is probably the most logical place to tap off of the power anyway."
The equipment has been ordered and installation should happen soon, Fuhrman said.
Though it has not been officially announced, Prairie Hills Mall is currently undertaking the installation of a Tesla Supercharger station. That station, though, only charges Tesla-brand vehicles.
"The charger our board is installing charges about 30 different, currently produced electric vehicles," Fuhrman said.
A "destination charger" is being installed at the museum, which can provide 10 to 45 miles of range per hour of charge.
While an unexpected offering for the museum, Fuhrman said, it would benefit both travelers and visitors to the city.
"It could attract people, and in such a way that it helps extend their stay in Dickinson," he said. "People who buy gas and such, they'll often stop and have a bite to eat, things like that. And electric cars are a growing phenomenon."
The project will cost $3,210 for split charging stations and a post and $4,500 for installation, which includes running necessary wiring from the machinery building to the edge of parking lot and making necessary wiring connections to the charging station.
Private donations are providing for the equipment and installation costs.
The museum will request donations to recover operating costs for the charging stations, and even offer pre-addressed envelopes for after hours donations.
Most people stay at destination chargers for only one to two hours, making the average cost $1.08 to $2.16 per use.
Fuhrman does not anticipate any potential expenses being burdensome.
"It's not a great deal of expense to begin with," he said "Part of the rationale is that anyone who charges and spends some time here, either at the museum or just in Dickinson and doing something, we've served our purpose as an attraction one way or another."
Charge station users tend to be generous, as well.
"Places that do ask for donations at charging stations usually do pretty well," Fuhrman said. "They're happy to throw 5 or 10 bucks in, and they're not using anywhere near that amount of electricity."
The Dickinson CVB has fielded calls from potential visitors before on local charging options, CVB Executive Director Terri Thiel said.
"We have had inquiries," she said. "I wouldn't say it's been a large amount, but it's been enough that I think it's going to be a great addition for the museum center here. It's people who, as they're traveling, are looking at places where they can find that electrical connection for their vehicle."
While visitors are having their vehicles charged, the CVB can help direct them to the city's many features, including dining options and attractions.
"We've got a captive audience then," Thiel said. "They're here, and we can spread them into the museum center and other places with the information once they're charged up and ready to go, and direct them to things in our community and those other surrounding areas."