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Tesla and ChargePoint charging stations could be installed near Watts House.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF SCAPPOOSE - An aerial photo shows the proposed setup for electric vehicle charging stations in Scappoose, though public works director Dave Sukau noted that the design is just the latest idea but no contracts have been finalized.Scappoose is pursuing proposals to install public electric vehicle charging stations, through partnerships with the Columbia River People's Utility District and Tesla.

Six potential EV charging spaces would be located on Second Street, outside the Watts House.

Scappoose public works director Dave Sukau said Columbia River PUD approached the city earlier this year to propose installing a ChargePoint brand charging station to serve two vehicles at a time.

The city then learned Tesla was also interested in installing a charging station in the area.

Most electric vehicles sold in North America can be charged at most level two (meaning the second-fastest charge) charging stations. The outlier is Tesla; the company's charging stations currently only charge Tesla cars.

That may soon change, however. Tesla's chief executive officer, Elon Musk, announced earlier this year that the company's charging stations would soon be available for all electric vehicles.

The Tesla station would serve four cars at a time.

Sukau said the tentative agreement would be a three-way split.

"We would be basically providing the site for this — Tesla would be funding their four chargers and the curb and sidewalk modifications, and the PUD would be working to provide their two chargers and the infrastructure to power all of them," he explained.

The agreement isn't yet official.

"Nothing is signed," Sukau said. "That's just kind of where things are landing."

Currently, the only public charging stations in Scappoose are in the Fred Meyer parking lot.

The Scappoose City Council directed city staff to continue work on the project by drafting agreements with Tesla and Columbia River PUD.

The proposal would take away parking spots currently available for any type of car.

"We looked citywide (for) where would be the best fit," Sukau said. "We honed in on this because it's centrally located. It brings people to the downtown businesses, such where there's coffee shops and bakeries available, city parks are available, the library is available. There's a lot of things for them to kill that little bit of time they need to charge the vehicle."

Adding the charging stations "encourages folks from, say, the Portland metro area, to use Highway 30 as potentially a route for their trip," Scappoose City Councilor Brandon Lesowske said.

Having visitors to the city, even if for less than an hour, still provides a chance to boost the local economy, Lesowske said, "so that's one of the opportunities that I do see here."

To the north, St. Helens has also been working to expand its charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Columbia River PUD — which also serves the St. Helens area — installed a charging station at the Best Western last year, and is now working with the city to install a station in Old Town.


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