Electric-Car charging Companies
Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) is building 1, 000 charging stations and helping to turn a Midwestern metropolitan area into one of the fastest-growing electric vehicle markets in the country. Andrea Hsu/NPR hide caption
toggle caption Andrea Hsu/NPR
Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) is building 1, 000 charging stations and helping to turn a Midwestern metropolitan area into one of the fastest-growing electric vehicle markets in the country.
In the world of electric cars, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: More people might buy electric vehicles, or EVs, if they were confident there would always be a charger nearby. And businesses might install more chargers if there were more EVs on the road.
Now, utilities are stepping forward to solve this problem, and not just in California or the Northeast. A $20 million project launched two years ago by investor-owned Kansas City Power & Light, whose service area straddles the Kansas-Missouri border, has turned a Midwestern metropolitan area into one of the fastest-growing electric vehicle markets in the country.
Alternative Fuels Data Center / Screenshot by NPR
"There's a little movement afoot here in the middle of flyover country, " says Chuck Caisley, KCP&L's vice president for marketing and public affairs. "We're awfully excited about the prospect of this kind of transportation, and so we wanted to be catalytic to that."
At a time when Caisley estimates there were only 400 to 500 electric cars in the area, KCP&L announced it would install 1, 000 charging stations throughout its service territory of more than 800, 000 customers.
The stations are going up at workplaces, in apartment garages, at grocery stores, in city parking lots and malls, and near the baseball and football stadiums. The idea is to allow people to charge their cars as they do their cell phones, plugging in as they go about their daily lives.
On a recent day, Sara and Adam Foote parked their car at a charging station in a public garage in Leawood, Kan., while they went for a drink. In the hour or so they spent in the bar, they added about 25 miles of charge to their Nissan Leaf, which they purchased 15 months ago.
"We've adapted our lifestyle, but I'd say that the charging stations — the abundance of them in Kansas City, has definitely made it very easy for us, " Sara Foote says.
For KCP&L, this project is about clean energy and clean air, but it's also about selling more electricity without having to build more power plants. Caisley says KCP&L's power grid, which was built to work on hot summer days when air-conditioning use is at a maximum, is underutilized 80 percent of the time. Customers have already paid for the electrical grid and the power plants. A dramatic increase in electricity use would drive down KCP&L's per-unit cost, and could mean lower power bills for its customers.
"When you turn on an additional TV in your home, that's not enough to change that equation, " Caisley says. "But when you talk about a segment [the auto industry] that's as much as 25 to 30 percent of the entire economy, and electrifying it, you're talking about a significant amount of increased electricity use, which means we're now using that infrastructure that customers have paid for so much more efficiently."
Caisley adds that the electricity the company is selling is getting cleaner all the time. Fossil fuels generate a declining share of the area's electricity. Nuclear and renewables account for nearly half of it.
"We just happen to sit in the Saudi Arabia equivalent of wind, " he says.christakis social networks tools that help you get data from multiple social networks are called social networks info social networks conference social networks for photographers social capital refers to the norms and networks that enable collective action. physician social networks social networks pictures specialized social networks in general, the largest social networks include people who are communication in social networks social and economic networks jackson pdf profiles from 70 social networks anonymous social networks my social networks social networks to meet people online social networks such as facebook and twitter how social networks affect relationships atlanta social networks social networks auto poster pro multi account download social networks the movie social networks pdf search name on social networks automotive social networks social networks for adults social networks list discussion boards are an earlier form of social networks social networks for parents social enterprise networks free download social networks social networks auto poster nulled dating social networks free video social networks best social networks to advertise on private social networks for business social networks in health care how to make social networks social networks good or bad social networks vs social media black owned social media networks korean social networks centrality in social networks social networks communication mcgraw hill networks a social studies learning system marketers find that communicating with people on social networks: social networks that pay you when it comes to inequality our social networks social networks film networks social social networks bring us closer to isolation social networks for kids social networks logo social media networks sybilguard defending against sybil attacks via social networks analyzing social networks borgatti senior social networks emo social networks advantages and disadvantages of social networks research about social networks and happiness indicates that the hidden power of social networks how does social support relate to the concept of social networks? social networks for scientists search all social networks making social networks finding people's social networks why is it important to connect your social networks to hootsuite social networks web most popular social networks 2011 social networks sites like facebook social networks in mexico social networks graphs best social networks for seo which of the following statements best describes use of social networks by businesses today? find someone on all social networks free a subset of e-commerce that uses social networks to assist in marketing social networks management software video game social networks sex social networks post across social networks