EV charging station update
Last month, the pages of this magazine featured a short item about the electric-vehicle charging station Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative had recently established on Interstate 85. This EV oasis is situated in the Fair Play community on Exit 4, near the border between Anderson and Oconee counties. In addition to a cooperative-owned ChargePoint Express 250 fast charger, a total of 12 Tesla superchargers are now in operation on the premises.
A great deal of before-the-fact analysis by our Blue Ridge Energy Services Department team went into this undertaking. Factors that were under consideration included the following:
- I-85 is a heavily traveled superhighway.
- Along the stretch of road between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC, there was little in the way of fast-charging facilities to service EV’s.
- The automobile industry in recent years has demonstrated a growing shift toward embracing electric-powered cars.
Although this initiative represented a new kind of endeavor for Blue Ridge, our energy services folks saw a potential market for these charging stations. Consequently, we launched with the expectation that our efforts would likely bear fruit. In the weeks that immediately followed, we were intent upon learning what kind of reception these electric chargers might receive from the motoring public.
The results were quite impressive. In that first billing cycle, the electric meter at the charging location registered a substantial level of kilowatt-hour consumption. Other data collected by the chargers indicated that autos driven from Chicago, Miami, and other distant locales were among those stopping in for a “fill-up”.
Although the cooperative is still in the early stages of evaluating this project, it seems probable that EV’s are going to assume a growing portion of the automobile market. Already, some of the world’s major auto manufacturers have announced they will soon direct a majority of their resources toward producing total-electric models.
Proponents of these cars point to certain advantages, such as their lower-maintenance status; that is, they possess fewer moving parts than their gasoline-powered counterparts. It’s also true, generally speaking, that electricity has proven to be cheaper than motor fuel as a means of powering a vehicle.
At Blue Ridge, we intend to be ready to confront and comply with whatever demands electric autos could place on our power-distribution system. Fortunately, our business model equips us with the flexibility to adjust quickly to such challenges.
Finally, I would note that this is the November-December issue of South Carolina Living. Accordingly, my next report to you will have to wait until the magazine’s January edition. That upcoming interval compels me to take notice now of the holiday season that’s on the near horizon. With that pleasing reality in view, I want to end this article by wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year. My fellow employees and I will welcome the opportunity to continue to be of service to you in 2022.