Ames unveils public charging station for electric vehicles

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AMES, Iowa — The City of Ames has unveiled a two-port fast charging station for electric vehicles located at the Kum & Go at 2108 Isaac Newton Drive off South Dayton Avenue and Highway 30.

It is Ames’ first direct current fast charging station for electric vehicles.

“We are very excited to have this new fast charger installed so close to I-35 and U.S. 30, which is a great location for visiting EV drivers and local drivers looking for a quick charge before a trip out of town,” Kayley Barrios Lain, energy services coordinator, said in a news release. “Building this infrastructure in Ames helps support EV growth both in our city and throughout the state. Though various Ames Electric Services programs and rebates, we encourage customers to consider EVs for transportation needs.”

A ribbon-cutting held at the charging station drew the mayor and city council members as well as interested members of the public. At the event, there were electric vehicles from local car dealers available to be test driven.

“I think they will absolutely catch on. We talk about all the practical sides to [electrical vehicles]. They are very efficient, they are affordable. It’s a lot cheaper to drive on electricity than to drive on gasoline. They don’t require nearly as much maintenance,” said Lain. “Those are all the practical sides of them. But the more I drive electric vehicles, the more that matters is they are really fun to drive. They are very responsive. They are very safe vehicles.”

From an electric utility standpoint, the cars are helpful in managing peak load demand for electricity because they can be charged in the middle of the night when demand is low. They can also serve as an emergency power supply in the event of power outages to homes, like last summer after the derecho.

The city may install more stations in the future if there is not a commercial development of new charging stations.

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