Preparing for Electric Vehicle Growth
In preparation for projected retail growth of electric vehicle (EV) sales in the automotive market, GVEC has installed two public-use electric vehicle fast-charging stations. These Power Tower™ electric vehicle charging stations will offer fee-based public access, providing the same sense of security and convenience for EV owners as a gas station does for motorists becoming low on fuel. One Power Tower is located at the Seguin Customer Service Center and the other at the Western Operations Center, both located centrally between San Antonio, Austin and Houston off I-10.
In addition to the Power Towers offering convenient charging options, they also provide GVEC the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how EV charging will affect the electric distribution system and the rate of adoption in and near GVEC’s service territory. Experts have predicted that electric vehicles will cost less to own than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles by 2024, with electric vehicle sales making up over half of all sales by 2040. Considering the predictions for rapidly rising production and purchasing of EVs, preparation for the additional electricity pull from the power grid is essential.
A Convenient Fast-Charging Option
Travelers driving along I-10 will be able to find the GVEC Power Towers by checking the ChargePoint app. They will also be searchable on Google Maps using the keywords “EV Charging Stations” in the near future. Drivers needing to charge their batteries will locate a Power Tower and simply plug in and charge at a time-based rate of $0.26 per minute via their ChargePoint account. A Power Tower EV charging station will charge an average EV battery from “empty,” in 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the vehicle. These 62.5 kW direct current fast-charging stations utilize state of the art technology to charge electric vehicles significantly faster than the traditional 7.2 kW commercial charging stations that are more commonly seen.
Supporting the Needs and Wants of Today’s Consumer
GVEC is deploying these Power Tower stations thanks in part to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), who awarded the Cooperative with a Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) grant covering up to 50% of all qualifying costs. GVEC CEO and General Manager Darren Schauer stated, “These EV fast-charging stations are examples of how GVEC is adopting and supporting the newest technologies the consumers of today need and want. Driving electrically can save people money and help reduce their carbon footprint. GVEC is proud to be able to support these important goals.”
More information about GVEC Power Tower fast-charging stations and EVs can be found on the Electric Vehicles web page at gvec.org/electric/electric-vehicles.