EUSTIS — The Eustis City Commission approved a resolution last week supporting an endeavor by RubeLab, a not-for-profit corporation involved in the development of technologies to solve environmental issues, to construct a solar charging station for electric vehicles in downtown Eustis, at the corner of Eustis and Clifford streets.
"This is an exciting first step,” said City Commissioner Bill Ferree. “We're going to have a new economical and fun way for getting around our Golden Triangle.
“RubeLab also plans to enlist help from the Lake County Department of Growth & Redevelopment and neighbors Mount Dora and Tavares to make neighborhood electric vehicles an option for anybody in the three communities,” he said.
In comparison to a gas station, the RubeStation is small. One full-size parking spot can accommodate three slots for small electric cars to hook up to 110-volt electrical outlets. In addition to the charging area, the station features a bench and pedestrian shelter.
According to the agreement, the City will install a support slab at a cost of less than $1,000, will waive development and permitting of about $260 and will pay the electric bills for the station while receiving credits for the solar electricity that is generated and sold back to Progress Energy. In return, RubeLab will construct, maintain, monitor and collect data from the RubeStation.
“The project is currently under construction, and it will completed by the end of the month,” said Joan Bryant, who sits on RubeLab’s Board of Directors.
The electric vehicle charging station will officially be introduced to the community at the “RubeLab on the Green” event on Feb. 28-March 1. The event will feature alternative transportation vehicles and will be held in conjunction with GeorgeFest, a weeklong event that includes the 107th George Washington’s Birthday parade.
A year ago, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners adopted a new strategic economic development plan. The plan identifies several target industry sectors the County should try to attract, including clean technologies, which is being promoted by the RubeStation.
“I’m so excited about this development because it is reflective of the County embracing new technologies,” Dottie Keedy, Director of the Lake County Department of Growth & Redevelopment.
For more information about RubeLab, call (352) 357-7926 or log on to www.rubelab.org. For more information about the Lake County Department of Economic Growth & Redevelopment, call (352) 343-9866. For more information about Eustis Economic Development, call Deputy City Manager John Schneiger at (352) 483-5430.