Porkland mayor Charlie Hales wants to add a "carbon tax" to residents' fuel and utility bills, and at first he claimed that the money would go toward repaving and repairing city streets. But in the last couple of weeks, he's been muttering about maybe adding more electric car charging stations around the city. Yep, there's a winner!
A nearby CostCo had a couple of them for several years, but removed them after finding that they received about one use per month. Freddy's, over in Tigard, installed a few as part of last years' renovation, and they're not exactly hot tickets over there, either. Halfway across the country, in Des Moines, Iowa, taxpayers paid $16,000 to install three of them at the public library. They've been operational for a year and a half now:
Since the charging units became fully operational in the spring of 2012, they have been plugged into electric cars only 13 times — generating a dollar of revenue with each use.
This is the sort of thing that happens when politicians decide they want to jump onto the "green&sustainable" bandwagon; they use tax dollars to fund projects that make them feel good, while most people would look at a $13 return on a $16,000 "investment" over the course of a year and a half and figure that maybe they could do better by just stuffing their cash under the mattress and going out on a can and bottle collecting run.