PUD installs fast chargers for electric vehicle drivers
For modern drivers, transitioning to an electric vehicle can be difficult. The biggest obstacle usually has to do with charging – whether it’s the inability to install a charger at home or finding reliable charging options on the go.
In fact, a recent study found that one in five EV drivers in California actually switched back to an internal combustion engine vehicle, citing charging issues as the top reason for the switch.
Here in Snohomish County, travelers along I-5 and US 2 now have a convenient place to quickly charge their electric vehicle in downtown Everett, helping them get back on the road and to their destinations quickly.
After years of planning and coordination with the City of Everett, PUD recently installed two rapid EV chargers adjacent to public parking lots on the north side of the Electric Building. These chargers are the first of their kind in downtown Everett and will be open to the public 24 hours a day.
“We are proud that this will improve access to public charging points for our customers and drivers in our service area,” said John Haarlow, PUD’s CEO/General Manager. “We hope that this will make it easier for more drivers to potentially switch to an electric vehicle.”
The new chargers are ChargePoint fast chargers that are CCS and CHAdeMO compatible and have an output of 62.5 kilowatts. The chargers are capable of fully charging an average electric vehicle in around 30 to 60 minutes. They accept payments by credit card and via a ChargePoint account, and the PUD charges 43 cents per kWh and an idle charge of 40 cents per minute of use after 10 minutes of inactivity.
The chargers are partly thanks to the Volkswagen diesel scandal in 2015. The PUD received $154,000 in grants from the Washington State Department of Ecology to cover part of the project cost of building the new chargers. The grant is part of the $113 million the Department of Ecology received from the Volkswagen settlement for violations of state and federal clean air laws.
PUD has partnered with the City of Everett to make changes to parking lots and sidewalks that will allow chargers to be accessible to all drivers while ensuring the city has room for one as part of the city’s Active Connections: California Street project future cycle path is available.
“We’re excited to be a part of this project to bring more EV charging infrastructure to our city,” said Cassie Franklin, Mayor of Everett. “Electric vehicles are an important part of our climate protection plan and the regional goals for clean, healthy air for all.”
Electric vehicles are a win-win in Snohomish County. Not only does it remove vehicles that cause tailpipe emissions from the road, but EVs that charge in the PUD’s service area are powered by some of the cleanest energy in the nation. With the majority of its energy coming from renewable and affordable hydropower, the PUD’s fuel mix consists of more than 95% carbon-free energy on average.