MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There are 11 new charging stations, now available to charge electric cars in downtown Mobile. The city is partnering with Alabama Power to make it possible. Now the question is, was this a smart investment for the city?
It’s easy to say you don’t see a lot of electric cars around the city, so why is there a need to invest in more charging stations? But have you ever considered, the lack of charging stations is what’s keeping the demand so low and a lot of missed opportunities for the city?
“It’s not like a gas station. you can find one on every corner. that’s the challenging part, a charging station,” said Vathrice Hartwell, from Florida.
“When people were asked would they buy electric vehicles. 63% said they were hesitant because the infrastructure wasn’t there yet,” said Joe Snowden, Waterfront Coordinator and Intermodel Transportation Manager, City of Mobile.
But now, it’s a different story.
“I am glad this is here because I left the last charging station in Florida and then there’s nothing in Pensacola, so of course, I had to stop here in Mobile,” said Hartwell.
As charging stations become more accessible in Mobile, the city can now look ahead and filling the gap for what’s to come.
“In 2018, there were 1 million electric vehicle owners. now by 2030, we’re expecting 18 million vehicle owners within the united states. now, within Alabama itself, we have 2,300 electric vehicle owners,” said Snowden.
Between 2017 and 2018 Alabama electric car sales almost doubled, driving more of demand across the state for the future of transportation. Alabama Power is already finding ways to benefit drivers, by providing rate rider for customers.
“You can charge at home between 9 pm to 5 am in the morning and you plug in your car at home, you’ll have a significantly reduced electrical rate,” said Snowden.
“Oh, Florida should get that. that sounds wonderful,” said Hartwell.
“As more people become more environmentally conscious and the infrastructure starts growing, the confidence in the technology grows. I believe that we’re going to see more and more electric vehicles on the road and Mobile will be ahead of other cities because we do have this infrastructure in place,” said Snowden.
Snowden says it all boils down to thinking ahead and making sure the city of mobile is well prepared. He also says before now, the city missed out on so much money by not having charging stations near the port terminal as travelers prepared to leave their cars as they board carnival. So this should hopefully eliminate that.
Right now, the city is offering six free vehicle charges at charging stations. Soon it will be one dollar and fifty cents per hour to charge, up to four hours. Still, cost-efficient for electric car drivers.