More electric charging stations planned for Alaska

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 10:21 PM AKDT|Updated: Jun. 25, 2021 at 2:33 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Dimond Center and other locations across Alaska will offer more charging stations for electric cars and trucks.

The regional shopping mall installed a charging station last fall. It is located next to Chili’s Restaurant. The process can take up to a couple of hours to complete, but it could finish sooner.

But two parking spaces on the east side of the H&M Store could be where two fast-charging electric stations go in the future. The station could fully charge a vehicle in as little as 20 minutes.

“We want you to come, visit, shop, and charge your car at the same time,” said Dimond Center Manager Hugh Ashlock. “If we have this infrastructure, it just makes good business sense for us.”

Dimond Center is one of the first nine places targeted to receive fast-charging stations from a plan by the Alaska Energy Authority. The public corporation wants to set up a charging station every 50 to 100 miles across Alaska, eventually connecting Homer to Seward to Fairbanks.

“Charging stations are gaining more popularity,” said Curtis Thayer, the AEA’s executive director. “But the one thing there is there’s a lot of question on the battery length. You can’t go from Homer to Fairbanks on an electrical charge. We want to provide that where they can plug in along the way.”

Thayer noted something else to consider.

“What we’re missing is Nenana to Fairbanks,” Thayer said as the AEA is looking for businesses interested in having one of the charging stations.

AEA said part of funding for $1 million in grants for the charging stations comes from the United States Department of Energy’s State Energy Program.

Businesses that received the grants also invested another $500,000 for the charging stations. Over time, they will recoup the money as customers pay for the power with their credit cards.

The AEA hopes to get the first charging stations installed by August or September.

Correction: The Alaska Energy Authority was named incorrectly in the original story. It has been corrected and updated.

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