Columbus, Neb. – You are driving around the Columbus area in your electric or hybrid vehicle and looking for a location to charge the battery. Filling stations for gasoline are easy to find but where does one plug in for a charge? The search for a location to plug in just became a little easier.
There is now a location in Columbus where you can plug in. It’s the first electric vehicle charging station of its kind in Columbus, and available for public use, located in the southeast corner of the main parking lot of Nebraska Public Power District’s General Office at 1414 15th Street.
Sitting nearby to that charging station, you may see the Public Power all-electric vehicle being utilized by NPPD and its wholesale customers. A 2018 Chevrolet Bolt, clearly identified with a wrap indicating ‘Public Power’ is being utilized to heighten the awareness of electric vehicles with Nebraskans. “Having the Bolt will help give potential end-use customers exposure to an all-electric vehicle,” stated Dave Rich, NPPD’s sustainable energy manager.
“This car will be available for NPPD and its wholesale customers for special events and activities throughout NPPD’s service territory that potential consumers can see first-hand,” said Rich. “There is increased interest in electric vehicles by individuals looking to purchase a new vehicle with numerous benefits and incentives available, while utilities are studying what the electric demand will be like.”
The recently decaled vehicle will direct consumers to www.publicpowered.com where there is additional information on the benefit of electric vehicles, charging station locations across the state, current incentives for electric vehicle consumers, and responses to frequently asked questions related to electric vehicles.
Rich explained that charging an electric vehicle would likely occur during the evening and overnight and would be done at home. “Today’s electric vehicles offer the ability to charge a vehicle on a standard 120 volt outlet, which is available in every home,” Rich pointed out. “Owners do have the option of purchasing higher-powered chargers for quicker charges in the home. And there are charging stations across the state and more are planning to be installed.” NPPD currently offers a program for owners of electric vehicles who can receive a $200 incentive if they install a ChargePoint 240Volt 32A WIFI connected charging station at their home. Information on that program can be found at www.nppd.com/save-energy/ev-charging-station.
As for the charging station, these units continue to pop up across Nebraska. Businesses, electric utilities, and government agencies are establishing a rapidly expanding network of charging infrastructure. “That has been a question that has arisen for potential buyers -how far can I get and where can I have the battery charged. With the number of new charging stations going into operation, it is now becoming a possibility to get nearly everywhere in the state with an electric vehicle,” explained Rich.
The charger in Columbus is a Charge Point unit and the station can be activated by smart phone or a Charge Point card. Data and fees are collected by Charge Point and data is provided to NPPD. The charge is set at $1 for a 4 hour session, $1 per additional hour.