Kansas City is ahead of the pack with an ambitious renewable energy action plan. The city has implemented an enormous project of electric cars installations to be rolled out around the city by the end of 2015.
At the beginning of this year, there was a relatively low number of electric vehicles in Kansas City – roughly 1,000, but by the end of 2015, the city plans to erect one electric car charging station for each one of their existing electric cars.
KCP&L, a local power and electric utility company, announced in January, its ambitious project dubbed the Clean Charge Network. The project envisions 1,001 new public charging stations for installation in the region covering western Missouri and eastern Kansas.
At the time of the announcement, there were only 40 electric vehicle charging stations in operation. But come spring 2015, an additional 150 stations were erected. The remainder will be in place by the end of 2015.
According to Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs, Chuck Caisley, the $20 million project is based on the concept that “if you build it, they will come.”
Fate of Electric Cars in Citizens’ Hands
There were a lot of obstacles facing the massive adoption of plug-in electric cars in Kansas. One of the major ones being that charging an Electric Car requires more time than filling up a gasoline car.
Previously, the absence of infrastructure is another obstacle making ownership of a Kansas electric car impractical and inconvenient. The initiative of the Clean Change Network hopes to successfully tackle these two obstacles. It will make public charging stations as ubiquitous as possible, similar to the number of gas stations.
There will also be a total of 15 special 480-volt DC charging stations which can provide 80 per cent charge to a Nissan Leaf in around 30 minutes.
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Other States’ Success Gives Positive Outlook for Kansas
The state that currently has over 1,000 electric car charging stations is California. Understandably, this state also has the most purchased electric vehicles in the United States. In fact, California reached the 100,000 benchmark for electric cars in September, 2014.
Coming in second is the state of Washington with approximately 12,000 registered electric cars state wide.
The aim of the Kansas electric car project is to significantly increase the ownership of electric cars in the city.
Pasquale Romano, CEO and President of ChargePoint, the company that sells the charging stations to KCP&L, says that this project should be a big boost for electric vehicles in the area.
Being the manufacturer of the top-selling electric car in the world, the Nissan Leaf, Nissan is partnering with KCP&L which will be a great boost to the project. EV companies also hope to use the charging stations as advertisements for the ownership of electric cars.
If there are more charging stations along Kansas City roads, local residents will be more aware of the presence of electric vehicles. The charging stations will also show them that it is also convenient to recharge the batteries of electric cars.
To give more incentive to the public, the charging stations will be free to use for the first two years of operation.