ST. CHARLES, Mo – The City of St. Charles will soon introduce electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. They will be one of the first in the county.

St. Charles engineers said it will be ground zero for paving a path to the future, and it all starts with electric charging. Two stations will be installed, and they hope for more.

Electric vehicles are driving up sales and catching the eye of St. Charles.

“It’s a forward-thinking thing that we can do as a city,” said Dan Mann, director of engineering for the City of St. Charles.

Using city street funds, his team bought two charging stations worth $5,000 each to be used in historic Frenchtown. They’ll be installed in the next two months, starting their EV charging pilot program.

“This is something that’s really common for private development in other areas,” Mann said. “Where a lot of people are installing these EV charging stations at their business or Walmart parking lot, so it really fits into the character up there.”

Right now, there will be no cost to the customer.

“We’re supporting the infrastructure; we’re building batteries for those vehicles,” said Ron Reimer, a resident. “They’re becoming more popular, so I think the demand will be that more than it is today,”

They said they believe the projected cost of $1,100 a year will pay for itself, specifically because tourists will spend time at local businesses while their cars charge. However, enough tourists have to use EVs first.

“The change is coming, but it’s just not maybe not there yet,” said Bob Kennedy, a tourist. “Even in the city markets back home in New York, it works for the neighborhoods, but it doesn’t work in the rural neighborhoods.”

Some residents said they’re concerned about unnecessary costs, as there aren’t many people driving electric cars. The hope is that more people will go electric soon, and they can keep St. Charles ahead of the curve.

Next Tuesday, the St. Charles City Council is expected to vote on whether they’d want to lock down rates for stations in the future.