CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Chattanooga is now home to one of the first publicly accessible electric vehicle charging station in the nation. The station officially opened Tuesday morning at the Doubletree Hotel downtown at 407 Chestnut Street.

This is part of the EVProject $115 million Electric Vehicle infrastructure build out. It is a national program that will put 100 public units in Chattanooga plus about another 100 residential units. 

ECOtality is project manager of The EVProject and will oversee the installation of commercial and residential charging stations in 18 cities and major metropolitan areas in six states and the District of Columbia, according to a news release.

The project will provide an EV infrastructure to support the deployment of 8,300 EVs. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through a federal stimulus grant of $114.8 million, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The grants are matched by private investment, bringing the total value of the project to approximately $230 million. The City of Chattanooga announced in 2010 that Ruby Falls, Rock City and The Incline, all part of Lookout Mountain Attraction was the one of the first sites announced to sign up for the EVProject in Tennessee.

There will be two types of public charging stations, one will charge a car in as little as 30 minutes, while others will give electric vehicle owners nearly a full charge in about four to six hours. The Doubletree station is part of the latter group.

The home charging stations take about eight hours for an overnight charge from empty to full. Several companies are expected to have public charging stations as a way to lure electric vehicle customers into their businesses.

The most popular EVs on the market now are the 100% electric Nissan LEAF, which gets about 100 miles on a full charge, and the Chevy Volt, which gets about 40 miles on electric before switching to gasoline. The LEAF does not use gasoline.