Hampton Roads recently moved one step closer to being part of a statewide public network of electric vehicle charging stations.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced Aug. 9 the Department of Environmental Quality had awarded a contract of around $14 million to EVgo Services LLC, to develop charging stations across Virginia.
What this means is that electric vehicles in Hampton Roads will be able to travel all across the state with a few short charging breaks, Virginia Clean Cities Deputy Director Mathew Wade said.
“What they have in mind is to build a network of DC Fast Charges along cities, towns and the interstate,” Wade said. “This is statewide. It’s not located in just one metropolitan area.”
If a motorist needs to stop and charge up, Wade said they won’t be spending a long time out of their vehicles. The chargers advertise they can fill 80 percent of an average car’s battery in 30 minutes.
EVgo has both pay-as-you-go and monthly membership rates for its fast charging stations, according to the company’s website.
Pay-as-you-go rates range between 20 and 35 cents a minute, depending on the state. Monthly rates cost between 10 cents and 21 cents a minute plus a $9.99 monthly membership fee.
The planned charging network calls for stations along the most heavily traveled roads in Virginia, according to a news release. The network will also accommodate for both existing charging stations and projects in development.
The funding for the charging network comes from part of the $93.6 million Virginia got as part of the Volkswagen emissions settlement. In 2015, the EPA found the German automaker cheated emissions tests, which eventually resulted in settlement amounts for states and consumers in the billions of dollars.
Electric vehicles have come a long way in recent years in terms of price and availability, Wade said. Now, almost all major car manufacturers produce an electric vehicle.
Los Angeles-based EVgo is the nation’s largest owner and operator of public fast charge stations, with more than 1,000 in 34 states.
EVgo has a map of its charger locations at EVgo.com and a mobile app. Other websites such as PlugShare and ChargeHub show the locations of other public charging stations.