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This article was in our Sunday newspaper:

https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/business/article_6f1202e8-9500-11e8-aa27-6ff75e556219.html

Charging ahead: Electric vehicle stations gaining some traction in Louisiana

By SAM KARLIN | [email protected] Aug 4, 2018

For years, as electric vehicle sales lagged in Louisiana compared with other states, so too has the availability of public, fast-charging stations for them.

That’s starting to change. Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary born out of the automaker’s infamous emissions-rigging scandal, is set to bring three DC fast-charging electric vehicle stations to Louisiana, and Clean Fuels Louisiana is pushing for more than a dozen additional ones throughout the state in an effort to have one available every 50 miles along each interstate.

Ann Vail, executive director of Louisiana Clean Fuels, said the nonprofit is working on a master plan for electric vehicle infrastructure, aimed at landing a federal designation called an Alternative Fuel Corridor. If successful, she said it will boost Louisiana’s market for electric vehicles and make them a more viable option for customers.

“It’s hard to get dealers to sell these in Louisiana,” she said. “We’re hoping once we get this corridor designation, we’ll get dealers to sell more electric vehicles.”

Dozens of charging stations exist throughout the state, including in downtown Baton Rouge, in New Orleans and at retail centers like Tanger Outlets, Whole Foods and hotels.

But there are different levels to the charging stations. Most of the existing stations are level-two chargers, which can take hours to charge a vehicle. Most electric car owners have level-one chargers at home, which will generally charge a car overnight.

So-called DC fast-charging stations, however, are in short supply. Only seven exist in Louisiana, and six of those are exclusively for Tesla vehicles, according to federal data. Those are in Slidell, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe. The only nonbranded fast station in the state, offering public charging to all electric vehicles, is in New Orleans.

But Electrify America, as part of a 39-state, $300 million effort to deploy 2,000 electric vehicle chargers, is installing three public, fast-charging stations in the state.

One, in Breaux Bridge, is complete, according to the contractor. Another in Sulphur will be finished by the fall, Electrify America spokesman Mike Moran said. The firm is in real estate discussions for another, yet-to-be announced location.

Louisiana, which has some of the lowest gasoline prices in the country, has relatively few electric vehicles registered. At last count, Vail said there were about 2,000 electric cars registered in Louisiana. A map from the U.S. Department of Energy using 2016 data shows Louisiana had one of the lowest rates of electric vehicles per 10,000 residents. States along the West Coast, along with Colorado and Georgia, had the highest rates of use.

Vail said one of the issues is getting dealerships to stock the cars.

“A bunch of different carmakers are starting to push electric vehicles,” she said. “In the next year or two, we’re going to see more in the dealerships, on the showroom floors.”

Louisiana Clean Fuels hopes to persuade the state Department of Environmental Quality to spend a portion of the money it is getting from the VW emissions settlement on electric car infrastructure. Vail said she also hopes to attract businesses, like Electrify America, and persuade municipalities to embrace the technology.

Ultimately, though, more offices need to get electric car chargers, Vail said, so owners can charge their cars during the day.

“The key is going to be getting these at people’s places of work,” she said. “That’s going to be the biggest driver of adoption.”
 

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Three in the whole state? Better than nothing, and it's a start. But only 3 seems meager. Of course, that may be 2 more than the state needs for all I know. :)
 

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Louisiana is not that big. So far, they are strategically placed and would be all that a long-range BEV needs. Especially since it looks like each site will have five dual-port chargers. They will definitely tide things over until the rest of Louisiana's infrastructure starts to come on line.
 
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