Edwardsville wants to stay ahead of EV charging station curve


Another idea out of the Edwardsville Cool Cities Committee may put some city residents near a new type of filling station in town.

According to the spring 2022 edition of Planning Magazine, almost one million electric vehicles will be added to American roadways this year. Heading into 2023 there will be electric versions of two of America’s best-selling vehicles, Ford’s F-150 and Chevrolet’s Silverado pickup trucks. Cadillac’s first electric vehicle, the Lyriq SUV, sold out its pre-orders for 2023.

To keep up with the trend, communities nationwide have begun adding zoning standards to regulate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

In December 2017, the secretary of state’s office recorded that Illinois had 8,255 registered electric vehicles, Madison County had 77, with 28 in Edwardsville, five in Glen Carbon and four in Maryville. Last December, the state registered 36,482 such vehicles, the county’s total grew to 407, 103 in Edwardsville, 57 in Glen Carbon and 25 in Maryville. As of last month, the totals are: Illinois 46,645; Madison County 503; Edwardsville 136; Glen Carbon 72; and Maryville 31.

“Ultimately, the goal of our proposed current ordinance is to prepare for this happening transition by considering which zoning districts we would want EV charging stations,” William Krause said.

Krause, the administrative and community service (ACS) committee chairman and city alderman, during the committee meeting last week said that just as the city’s current code regulates the placement of gas stations, the city should have a standard for its EV stations.

Krause said a five percent adoption rate is the generally accepted threshold for all new technologies, including electric vehicles. He supports this with a Bloomberg article from July 9 that claims the nation has crossed that tipping point for mass electric vehicle adoption, five percent of new car sales during the fourth quarter of 2021. The article goes on to state that 25 percent of new car sales could be electric by the end of 2025.

Major European cities like London put bans in place on internal combustion engines in 2030. Paris and Rome will do something similar in 2024, with the latter banning diesels in the city center.

Per Cars.com, the current longest-range electric vehicle for sale in the US is Lucid Air’s Dream Edition at 520 miles at $169,000 while Tesla’s Model S Plaid clocks in at 405 miles but costs $136,000.

Tesla’s Model 3 carries 358 miles of range and bases at $58,000 and Tesla’s Model X has 348 miles of range but rings up at $121,000 while the company’s Model Y Long Range has 330 miles of range and is $66,000.

Mercedes-Benz’s EQS 450+ has a 350-mile range and costs $102,000.

GMC’s coming Hummer EV Edition 1 claims 329 miles of range but it’s unverified by the EPA.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning Extended Range offers 320 miles with an entry fee of at least $72,474 before any incentives are applied. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E Route 1 gets 314 miles on a charge and costs $52,450.


Alderman Jack Burns is concerned about the effect of a large number of EVs charging at the same time and whether the city’s power grid could handle that influx plus the typical day-to-day household needs.

Krause pointed out that any issues with the electrical grid are out of the city’s control but he wants the conversation to include legislators.

Resident Stephanie Malench, an early electric vehicle adopter, the concerns about power should not be a problem because people won’t be charging their vehicles at the same time every day.

However, charging rates will depend on use rates.

During the meeting, the committee voted 3-0 in favor of an ordinance amending zoning regarding these stations. The item headed to city council Tuesday for first reading. The amended ordinance will go back through the process committee next week and appear again at city council on Aug. 16 for a vote.

The ordinance recognizes there are three levels or kinds of charging stations for electric vehicles. Level 1, also known as slow-chargers, uses a 120-volt alternating current (AC) electric current and a 15- to 20-amp breaker. These types of chargers are typically mounted inside of a structure or on its exterior and are to be used to charge homeowners’ personal vehicles only. This type usually takes about eight hours to fully charge a vehicle.

Level 2 chargers, or medium-chargers, run on 40- to 100-amp breakers and use a 208-volt or 240-volt AC circuit. Sometimes, these are called fast chargers because they charge vehicles in approximately half the time of a Level 1 charger. Utility companies may charge an extra fee to install a Level 2 charger in home garages.

Level 3 charging are true rapid chargers and operate on a 60-amp or higher breaker and a 480-volt or higher three-phase circuit with special grounding equipment. Level 3 stations use direct current (DC) power and industrial-grade electrical outlets. Examples include Tesla’s Superchargers and similar chargers from Sourcepoint, Rivian and others.

Currently, Level 1 and 2 charges are permitted in all zoning districts. In residential areas, these kinds of chargers should be installed for personal use only. Parking lots for the purpose of charging electric vehicles are not allowed in residentially-zoned areas. Meanwhile, Level 3 charging stations are allowed in all mixed-use, commercial and industrial districts.

Charging stations using parking spaces within public or private parking lots or garages must comply with some standards if the amended ordinance passes at city council. Except for chargers located within single-family residences, electric vehicle charging stations shall be reserved for parking and charging electric vehicles only. No one shall stop, stand or park any other vehicle for any other purpose in areas designated for electric vehicle charging.

Each charging station will have appropriate signage attached, indicating that it is an electric charging vehicle station to passers-by.

For every 50 charging stations provided, there must be one Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible charging station (the final ratio may change). These ADA-accessible chargers must be located in proximity to buildings or facility entrances and must meet the ADA standards for parking spaces. Users should expect information to be posted at each station such as available voltage and amperage levels, hours of operation, time limits and tow-away provisions, safety information, and contact information to report malfunctioning equipment or other issues.

Lighting electric charging stations should conform to typical parking lot lighting.

Electric charging stations shall not be placed within easements. They must be set back at least five feet from the nearest property line, the equipment must be protected by wheel stops or bollards, and the outlets and connectors on the chargers must be between 36 and 48 inches from the top of the mounting surface and contain a retraction device or a place to hang cords and connectors above the parking lot.

One point that was not discussed is how cold weather, or cold air, can affect range. Road tests of previous electric vehicles, like Nissan’s Leaf and Chevrolet’s Volt, saw as much as 30 percent of the “normal” range vanish during winter. If your typical range is 239 miles, 30 percent is almost 72 miles chipped away. Conversely, air-conditioner use in hot weather may impact range during the summer.

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