With stagnant electric vehicle (EV) consumption in Iowa, a charging station in northwest Des Moines that became operational in the spring of 2012 is receiving little attention. Over the past year, the $16,000 installation of the three ChargePoint units at Franklin Avenue Public Library were used 13 times, providing a return of investment of one dollar with each use.
But Greg Heid, Director of the Library is confident about the investment, saying EVs will soon catch on. Iowa convenience chains are jumping on the bandwagon. Kum & Go installed charging stations at four stores in Des Moines and one in Fairfield. Hy-Vee installed units in Urbandale, where they have been used over 420 times in the past year. The grocery chain plans to install stations in other locations including Waukee and Ankeny. Iowa currently has 40 sites with charging units for 104 “electric only” cars on on the state’s roads.
Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Comer said, “We are positioning them for the future. They aren’t getting a lot of use now. But we think that this is something that customers will want.”
Iowa State University engineering professor Jing Dong researches ways to expand EV marketing. She says that although EV sales are up, it’s unlikely the nation will reach President Obama’s goal of having 1 million EVs on the road by 2015.
Source: Charging stations added slowly as electric car use sputters, Des Moines Register
Charged up: Plug-in car owners say electricity adds spark to driving, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
Electric vehicles may be falling short on their positive environmental impact, Iowa Energy Center