An electric vehicle charging box that will tied into AmpUp is already in place on the Mural Building. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

New Mural Building leads the way, Inn at Lynden next 

LYNDEN ­— A sign of the times, electric car charging stations are coming to town.

One unit is expected to be in operation shortly on the west side of the new Mural Building facing the parking lot on Seventh Street.

Builder Ron Hanson said he intended from the start to have this amenity available to his potential tenants — seven apartment units above retail space — and he got the apparatus mounted a couple of weeks ago.

“But I also feel having a station in downtown Lynden that can be accessed by the general public certainly won’t hurt the downtown economy,” he wrote to the Tribune. 

Thinking the same thing, the Downtown Business Association made a significant contribution toward Hanson’s $3,500 purchase of the Level 2 charger.

Level 2 refers to the voltage, 240, that the charger uses. Amperage, for the electric current’s strength, can range from 16 to 40. The Mural Building unit is one of the more powerful ones available.

Hanson said he just needs the AmpUp software set-up to have his station fully functional.

The way he decided to go with an EV Box, both his tenants and the general public will be able to access the voltage by simply setting up an account with AmpUp, he said.

The next nearest place to charge up an electric car in Whatcom County is Birch Bay, and then Bellingham, Hanson said.

This should be only a next natural step for Lynden, Hanson believes. 

“With the revitalization of downtown Lynden, it only makes sense to have an EV charging available for visitors. With the Level 2 charging that the EV Box provides, on average a vehicle will get about 35 miles per hour of charging. (The cost for one hour would be approximately $1 to $1.25). So if, for example, someone from Seattle decides to drive up to Lynden in their EV to check out the cool Dutch-themed downtown with all the flowers and lovely shops, they can rest assured that while they are ‘touristing’ and probably dining their car is being charged,” he wrote.

In fact, the operators of The Inn at Lynden have been thinking along that line for a while.

Earlier this year, co-owner Teri Treat of the 5-year-old inn gained City of Lynden approval for one public angle parking space along Fourth Street to have a vehicle charging box put in.

Treat said her pursuit is now on hold until there is an uptick in business in the new year.

About two years ago, she started counting guests with electric cars and noting any requests for a charging station at the Inn. “While the requests are not significant, we are seeing more electric cars each year in the downtown,” she said.

Treat and Hanson are on the same page keeping each other informed of their progress on electric vehicle charging stations, she said.

“Providing these in our downtown would be a great service to our guests. I will be doing more research again after the first of the year.”

Hanson’s building is wired for a second charging station as well.