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Vol. 25, No.11 Week of March 15, 2020
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

New initiative for EV charging stations

Chugach Electric partnering with other entities for the installation of new facilities that will support electric vehicle use

Alan Bailey

for Petroleum News

Anchorage-based electric utility Chugach Electric Association is partnering with five other entities to participate in an electric vehicle charging station research project in Southcentral Alaska, Chugach Electric has announced. The entities, selected competitively based on criteria such as geographic diversity and the availability of activities to carry out while charging is in progress, consist of Alyeska Resort; Creekbend Co., Hope; Dimond Center; JL Properties, South Restaurant retail center; and the Municipality of Anchorage parking lot, east of Rustic Goat Restaurant, Chugach Electric says.

Each selected member will choose, install, own and maintain a charging station for the duration of the three-year research project. Chugach Electric will contribute up to $7,500 towards the installed cost of each facility. The objective of the project is to better understand the driving habits and charging needs of electric vehicle owners, and to gain insights into the extent to which the use of chargers may be made in commercial areas.

While the charger at Alyeska Resort has already been in operation since September 2019, the other facilities will be installed by the end of June, after the ground thaws, Chugach Electric says.

Growing use

The use of electric vehicles in the Anchorage region has been growing, albeit from a very low start. Although expensive to buy, the vehicles are relatively cheap to operate, with much simpler maintenance requirements, higher energy efficiency and lower fuel costs than traditional gasoline or diesel vehicles. However, the vehicle mileage range between charges impacts their popularity - hence presumably the interest in evaluating and promoting the use of commercial charging stations. The Alaska Energy Authority is planning to help fund an electric vehicle charging network in Alaska, using funds allocated from a U.S. settlement relating to cheating by Volkswagen over the testing of emissions from diesel vehicles.

Chugach Electric says that the most recent count indicates that just over 150 all-electric (as distinct from hybrid) vehicles are registered in the Municipality of Anchorage. That represents an increase of 50 vehicles since last August. The vehicles come from 12 different manufacturers, but with 110 of the vehicles being made by Tesla, Chugach Electric says.



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