Push to install more charging stations continues with an uptick in electrical vehicles on the road in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Electric vehicles are looking more alluring as gas prices climb over $5 a gallon, leaving drivers pursuing alternatives to paying at the pump.
Wasilla resident Kimberly Sloane is part of a growing group of Alaskans making the switch to electric cars by purchasing a Chevy Bolt in 2019.
“I’m coming out so far ahead it’s amazing,” Sloane said. “I have solar panels on my house… my electric bill this month was like $10 and that’s charging my car every day.”
The average cost to charge an electric vehicle is one-third of filling up a normal gas tank, according to Chugach Electric Association. The electric utility tracked the number of registered electric vehicles in Alaska since 2018 when there were just over 400 cars in the state and by the end of 2021, there were just over 1,200 cars.
Many electric drivers acknowledge a downside is range anxiety, which comes from the lack of availability of charging stations on American roadways. To help meet the need, local and federal incentives hope to add charging stations across the country as the bipartisan infrastructure bill looks to build a network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers.
“Part of that effort to relieve what’s called range anxiety is putting in more charging stations all up and down the Railbelt,” Chugach spokesperson Julie Hasquet said.
In Anchorage, Chugach has worked alongside Alaska’s Energy Authority to provide more charging options, with the latest popping up outside the IBEW local 1547 office in midtown. The station was built using $7,500 provided by Chugach to cover upfront costs.
The energy association said it is no longer offering money upfront as an incentive to put up a charging station and has changed to offering bill credit instead to entice the construction of charging stations.
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