Benefits of Electric Vehicles
According to the Department of Energy, electric vehicles achieve better fuel economy and have lower fuel costs than similar conventional vehicles and improve national energy security by reducing demand for petroleum. Furthermore, electric vehicles improve community resilience. For instance, if essential services suddenly shut down from extreme weather or other disasters, residents could be stranded without power. Electric vehicles can act as mobile emergency backups, providing both transportation and a supply of electricity during outages as electric vehicles can power phones, appliances, homes, and more. Since electricity is often the first power restored, electric vehicles can be recharged and be back online quickly, which can avoid gridlock at gas stations and extending services to isolated areas, such as rural communities.
Before Evergy started building the Clean Charge Network, project managers needed to identify locations to install the charging sites. As many City governments are supported by Evergy’s Tier 1 Customer Support Managers, they were the first customers who were made aware of the plans to own and operate charging stations in their service jurisdiction.
Additionally, the company contacted other cities to see where they located their charging stations. Project managers decided to place charging stations at a variety of highly trafficked locations, such as universities and schools, public libraries, movie theaters, and private businesses. To incentivize host sites, Evergy developed a website that lists the general benefits for hosting a charging station.
Once Evergy determined the optimal locations, they needed to decide the type and level of charging stations. The company partnered with ChargePoint Inc. to manufacture the equipment stations. Evergy selected level of charging stations, based on what was appropriate for each location. Today 98% of Evergy’s charging stations are Level 2 with the remainder Direct-current fast charging stations.
During the entire planning and construction process, Evergy organized outreach events and information meetings for community members. The company launched a website about the Clean Charge Network, that includes information about electric vehicles, events, informational videos, and more. Additionally, Evergy organized free electric vehicle ride-and-drive events. To further incentivize community members to purchase electric vehicles, they offered free charging for two years, and at some locations, free charging permanently.