As Loudoun County prepares to open parking garages at the Silver Line Metro stops, supervisors have set the additional fee that electric vehicles owners will pay to park at charging stations at $2.10 per session.
That is an increase over the $1.44 per session cost established in 2011 for the Harmony Park & Ride in Hamilton, currently the only county government-owned parking with electric vehicle charging stations. At the time, the fee was meant to defray the cost of operating and powering those stations. County staff members have indicated that price is no longer enough to cover those costs.
Thirty more charging stations will be installed at the two county-owned Metro parking garages, which will also charge for parking when the Silver Line starts service in Loudoun, prompting a new assessment of that price. Vice Chair Koran T. Saines (D-Sterling) urged his colleagues to provide those charging stations without any additional fee, but the majority of supervisors voted to impose charges.
“You’re frankly going to have the same people using this over and over again in all likelihood, given commuting patterns, so I wouldn’t want those same relatively few individuals to benefit from this,” said Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles). “It is standard practice on the commercial side to charge for electricity.”
He also said he didn’t want to be in the position of doing away with the charging station fee, then later having to reinstitute it as more and more electric vehicles begin using the stations and costs grow.
“I don’t think we should pay for other people’s parking, unless someone wants to pay for my gas,” said County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).
Supervisors on March 16 voted 8-1 to establish the fee, with Saines opposed.