Visitors to the Dublin Community Recreation Center can charge their cars while they exercise their bodies.

Visitors to the Dublin Community Recreation Center can charge their cars while they exercise their bodies.

The city installed two level-two electric-car charging stations near the west entrance to the Dublin Community Recreation Center, 5600 Post Road, where visitors can charge their vehicle for free.

The charging stations were partially funded through 50-percent matching grant from Clean Fuels Ohio, said Darryl Syler, Dublin's fleet manager.

Both charging stations were $28,400, including installation and Clean Fuels Ohio gave Dublin $14,200.

"By having the stations we're giving citizens the opportunity to purchase an electric car," Syler said.

"All major manufacturers are introducing or have introduced an electric model."

Some electric trucks are being used by companies for use within metropolitan areas, Syler said.

The electric-car charging stations also follow Dublin's goal to decrease dependency of foreign oil, Syler said, noting that goal also led the city to open a compressed-natural gas fueling facility earlier this year.

Gino Ori, territory manager of Signature Control, said the Blacklick-based company has installed charging stations in Centerville, Dayton, the Cleveland Clinic and now Dublin.

"A lot of cities are starting out with the free method," he said.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, or PUCO, prohibits non-utilities from selling electricity to the public, so Dublin is offering the new service for free.

If a recreation center visitor were to plug their car into one of the new charging stations, Syler estimated the vehicle would be 60- to 70-percent charged in an hour.

The cost to the city should be minimal and depends upon the car and the battery, Syler said. Ori estimated it should cost less than 30 cents per hour to charge.

Information from the city said a vehicle that pulls 3.3 kilowatts per hour, like the Nissan Leaf, would cost $0.259 per hour to charge.

"People are scared to buy (electric cars) because there aren't a lot of these," Ori said of the charging stations.

Dublin is hoping to change that, Syler said, and could have additional charging stations at different city locations in the future.

"This morning an employee asked if we have a plan to install these anywhere in the city," he said. "He was looking at buying an electric car for personal use."

Once word gets out about the new electric-car charging stations at the recreation center, Syler said he expects more inquiries like that.