Electric vehicle plans available on the Arkansas Department of Transportation website

A long time ago, when — in August — this column was talking about the issue of electric vehicles. Some skepticism was displayed.

We mostly got a scowling face at the fact that the feds gave the Arkansas Department of Transportation $54 million to build EV chargers every 50 miles or so along Arkansas’ highways.

And that Arkansas has 3,064 all-electric vehicles registered with the Department of Finance and Administration. Out of approximately 2,725,000 registered vehicles. Yeah, yeah, charging stations are supposed to be primarily for interstate travelers.

There was a promise to update the question. To that end, here is a series of questions asked and answered by Brad McCaleb, division chief of transportation planning and policy for the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Where is ArDOT in the planning? ArDOT submitted its first-year plan to the Federal Joint Bureau of Energy and Transportation on July 29. The plan is under review and should be approved by the end of this month.

How about a start time? The construction of the charging stations should start in 2024.

How many interstate miles does Arkansas have, and about 50 miles per, how many charging stations are there? Arkansas has 770 interstate miles. ArDOT’s analysis yields a minimum of at least 15 charging sites needed to meet National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program guidelines.

What factors go into choosing locations? ArDOT will provide applicants with information on gaps in the NEVI charging network. ArDot will rely on applicants to select specific locations to install the charging stations as part of the competitive procurement process. Some site selection factors include proximity to a mile of freeway, access to the power grid, ability to allow 24/7 public access, and ability to provide amenities.

How many chargers at each station? A minimum of four.

How powerful will these chargers be? The NEVI formula program requires four 150 kilowatt DC fast chargers capable of delivering a combined minimum of 600 kilowatts at each site.

How much will ArDot cost for electricity? There will be no cost to ArDOT. The owner-operator of the charging station will be responsible for the cost of electricity.

What will be the cost for the driver of the electricity? The cost to the driver will be determined by the owner-operator.

What else should intrigued ADG motorists know? All current information and the first-year plan are available at ardot.gov/evplan. Anyone interested in staying up to date can sign up for the mailing list on the website.

Dear friends, we have read the FAQ and information sheet on this website. Slightly confusing they are, for those of us who aren’t electrical engineers.

We have also subscribed to this mailing list. As it says in the newsroom, MTK – more to come.

[email protected]

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