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Fairbanks Golden Valley Electric Association installs electric vehicle chargers

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 4:10 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) is installing electric vehicle chargers for the public.

According to Meadow Bailey, Director of External Affairs and Public Relations for GVEA, the association has been involved with electric vehicles for several decades.

“We started working to pioneer electric vehicle technology as an organization 50 years ago - like literally 50 years ago we had the first electric car in Fairbanks,” Bailey explained, “and we were working with a company that was testing it and checking it out. We drove it around, it was one of the cars that our employees used, and we shared that information with the manufacturers. So all of those tests have been built on to emerging technology to get us to a point where we’re at now where we see an increased demand in the Interior for electric vehicles.”

Bailey went on to say the new charging stations will help determine how much demand there is in the Interior for electric vehicles.

“It’s a still emerging technology, there’s a lot about it that we don’t necessarily know, but being able to put these chargers in place at our location allows us to monitor and to see the demand that is there,” Bailey elaborated. “It also helps us to build out the infrastructure so more people can look towards electric vehicles as an option in the future.”

Bailey continued, “We’re testing to see how much of a market and how much demand there is. But we’re also testing the technology. How do these chargers work here? How do they work with the different vehicles? We’ll be able to pull some data that gives us information about different vehicles and how they charge, how it works with this system, and it all happens within the cold environment that we’re in. It also helps us to support additional testing. There are more companies that are bringing their electric vehicles up, they’ll be testing them this winter. This charger provides a place for them to get a reliable and quicker [charge] than most chargers in the Interior.”

According to Bailey, there are plans in place to expand out and install more charging stations.

“We actually are working to install additional chargers in other locations,” Bailey said. “We just worked with an entity along the Parks Highway to put one in near Cantwell so that you can start to travel down that corridor. We will work with other entities to install them in other locations, and there are other organizations that have funding from [sources] like the Volkswagen settlement that are working to put quite a few chargers along the highways so that we start to build out that charging infrastructure.”

The charging stations are scheduled to be ready for use by the first week of November and will be available 24/7.

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