Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) has announced plans to install and operate more than 1,000 EV charging stations in the Kansas City region, which the company says will be the largest charging station installation by an electric utility in the US.
KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network will be part of the ChargePoint network, and will offer free charging to all drivers for the first two years. Installation began in late 2014, and will be completed this summer. The first stations deployed will include 15 fast charging stations provided by Nissan.
“The Kansas City region is quickly building a reputation as an innovative, sustainable place to live and work,” said Terry Bassham, CEO of KCP&L parent company Great Plains Energy. “We will place the stations where they’re needed most and support them as part of our electric grid, leveraging our expertise with electrical infrastructure.”
KCP&L is not new to EV infrastructure. In 2011, KCP&L installed ten public charging stations, and later added more through its SmartGrid Demonstration Project. The company used these stations to test technologies and behaviors, laying the foundation for the Clean Charge Network.
“We’ve learned a lot over the last few years about how our customers use electric vehicles,” said Bassham. “Combined with our knowledge of the electric grid and award-winning reliability, we think we’re well-suited to operate the electric vehicle network.”
Local politicians and environmentalists praised the project. “Not only do the owners of electric vehicles in Kansas City benefit, but with this project, KCP&L is also investing in the economic development and environmental sustainability of this region, which is a win for everyone,” said Kansas City Mayor Sly James.
“People generally charge their cars at non-peak periods when KCP&L’s electrical grid is being underutilized,” said Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Energy Economist Ashok Gupta. “By stimulating electric vehicle adoption with their Clean Charge Network, KCP&L is encouraging people to use the electrical grid more efficiently and drive down the cost of electricity for everyone.”
Source: Kansas City Power & Light