LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) – An electric vehicle charging station is now open in Lucedale, able to power two vehicles at one time.

The charging station is located at Singing River Federal Credit Union (SRFCU) on Old Highway 63 and Scott Road. It is supported by SRFCU and Electric Cooperative- the wholesale electric power provider for Singing River Electric and 10 other power companies in the state.

The businesses hope the charging station will influence local residents to invest in electric vehicles and encourage other drivers to pass through Lucedale while traveling on the highway.

“We are working with our 11 member systems trying to put charging in areas that can help draw business to town,” said Sara Peterson, Electric Cooperative’s corporate communications manager. “This is an opportunity to bring people into these rural areas and really get to experience the communities that we serve.”

One hour of charging on the AC Level 2 unit can power a vehicle for 10-20 miles. The credit union is currently offering use of the charging station at no cost to drivers.

It’s the first charging station at any SRFCU branch. The next nearest charging station to Lucedale is in Mobile, Moss Point or Wiggins.

All 50 states received final approval Tuesday to begin construction on the first nationwide network of EV charging stations that places one roughly every 50 miles along interstate highways. It is part of the Biden administration’s plan to spur widespread adoption of zero-emission cars.

Mississippi will receive $50 million in federal funds over the next five years to build the “alternative fuel corridor,” but the state’s plan warned of potential shortages of EV charging station equipment, which it said “may cause significant setbacks” in construction.

The White House has set a goal that 50% of new U.S. car sales be electric by 2030, and the administration touts new tax credits next year of up to $7,500 as making electric vehicles accessible for Americans.

“We just see it as a good service that is needed now but is going to be needed much more in the future, 10-15 years down the road. So we’re prepared for that and making the service available to our members and the general community,” Peterson said of the charging stations.