New Fast Charger for electric vehicles installed in Cantwell

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 4:45 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A small group gathered in Cantwell on Saturday to celebrate the installation of a new electric vehicle plug-in station.

Operating on mile point 214.5 of the Parks Highway, it is currently the furthest north DC Fast Charger in Alaska.

Representatives of ReCharge Alaska and Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) were in attendance.

Kris Hall, Owner of ReCharge Alaska, explained, “Golden Valley goes to Cantwell, and so we want to work with Golden Valley, and being here in Cantwell, this is the end of their line if you will, so this is as far north from the south and far south from Fairbanks for this to be the perfect region. It’s not halfway, but it’s very close to the halfway point.”

The fast charger will cut charging times from four to six hours to about an hour and a half. This makes it easier for electric vehicles to make the trip from Fairbanks to Anchorage in one day.

And more DC Fast Charger stations are planned throughout the state. Hall said, “I’m going to bring in AEA, the Alaska Energy Authority. They have VW Settlement funds, and so what they are working on is nine locations from Homer to Healy that will be charging spots along the route. The overall intent is that we start making the whole loop around Alaska viable with electric cars.”

As Hall explained, “The Richardson Highway has just not opened up yet, and that’s what we’re going to shoot for, is trying to get both sections of the roadway.”

Two fast chargers are planned for installation at GVEA in Fairbanks. Tom DeLong, Chairman of the GVEA Board of Directors, said, “Fairbanks is a little behind the curve. We’re a little bit more of a challenge for electric cars because of our cold temperatures, but the technology is getting better and better, and the ability to stay warm in electric vehicles has really ramped up.”

According to DeLong, the expansion of electric vehicle capabilities would have benefits for the Interior. “It reduces emissions, and in a place like Fairbanks, Alaska, where we have a horrible pollution problem, one of the worst, really, in the nation, maybe the world when we get our inversions in the winter, an electric vehicle could really help reduce our emissions.”

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