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Calhoun Times – City begins installing charging stations for electric automobiles

City of Calhoun Utility workers prepare the connection points for the electric vehicle charging stations outside the Depot in Downtown Calhoun Friday.
Calhoun has been chosen to take part in the largest deployment of electric vehicles (EV) and charge infrastructure in history, due to its location along Interstate 75.

The City of Calhoun recently partnered with ECOtality – a national research and development company specialized in energy systems and alternative fuel – to become one of many cities in America to have electric vehicle charging stations installed to make the accessibility to charging easy for electric car owners.

“We wanted to be involved in a project to benefit the community,” Electrical Inspector Kenny Rogers said.

There will be two charging stations at the depot, recreation department and the BB&T Park. The construction is in the initial stages, but eventually, once locations are chosen, there will be two more charging stations closer to the interstate.

According to Rogers, the three locations downtown should be fully operational within the next 60 days.

The charging stations downtown will be a lower voltage and will fully charge a car in four to six hours, however, the future locations by I-75 would operate on a 480 volt system and will be able to fully charge a car in 30 minutes, according to Rogers.

The project comes at no cost to the city, which is in charge of getting the point-of-service – the point where the charging stations will connect and provide electricity – for the charging stations ready, and ECOtality is in charge of getting everything hooked up from there.

ECOtality was awarded a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to embark on the project. The total value of start up including partner matches is now at $230 million, according to a press release from company.

Once the stations are installed the price of charging will be the responsibility of the person charging their vehicle.

The goal is to deploy thousands of chargers in 21 major cities and metropolitan areas located within California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

It goes on to read, “The ultimate goal of the EV Project is to take the lessons learned from the initial deployment of EVs, and the charging infrastructure supporting them, to enable the streamlined deployment of the next 5 million EVs.”

With the changing climate, countries trying to decrease fossil fuel dependence and the technology of electric vehicles become more dependable, Rogers said, “We feel like Evs will be used more in the future.”



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