Historic Warrenton seeks to charge electric vehicles, tourism

electric vehicle charging warrenton
Two new charging stations in historic downtown Warrenton, Virginia may lure drivers of electric vehicles to spend tourism dollars. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

The historic town of Warrenton, Virginia is hoping cutting-edge technology, will give energy-craving electric vehicle owners a reason to visit and spend tourism dollars.

Two newly-installed electric vehicle charging stations now stand side-by-side, in a parking lot at 45 Horner St., a block or so from Main Street in Fauquier County’s Warrenton.

The town council lobbied hard to get Tesla to install the charging stations, where drivers of any electric vehicle — with their appropriate adapters — can charge their vehicles for free.

Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer told WTOP the recent conversion of the police station to solar power was another example of focusing on sustainable energy.

While drivers of gasoline vehicles rarely have to worry if they can find gas stations, as sales of electric vehicles continue to grow, charging stations are not as ubiquitous as gas stations.

So, electric vehicle owners often have to figure where they will be able to recharge.

Schaeffer is hoping the charging stations will be a lure to EV drivers who may not know Warrenton — population 9.937, incorporated in 1810, named for Revolutionary War hero Gen. Joseph Warren — even exists.

”Warrenton is the best kept secret in Northern Virginia,” Schaeffer said. “People with electric vehicles traveling from the city to the wineries or Shenandoah National Park can stop in Warrenton for a quick charge, while they grab coffee, lunch, or shop.”

Charging an electric vehicle takes about 30 minutes.

Having two chargers available will mean the Warrenton location will be included in Tesla’s Destination Charging data base, as well as mapping apps which provide locations of electric vehicle charging stations.

The EV charging stations inclusion in smartphone resources “will continue support of our economic initiatives around tourism,” said Schaeffer.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein reported from Warrenton, Virginia.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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