Fairbanks’ first fast-charging electric vehicle station just opened at Golden Valley Electric Association on Illinois Street.

An hour of “refueling” provides a full battery for most vehicles plugged into fast-charge stations, when traditional chargers take several hours to fully power EVs.

“It is great to see GVEA being the first electric utility company in Alaska to install a DC fast charger for EVs,” said Dimitri Shein, executive director of the Alaska Electric Vehicle Association, a statewide group of owners, stakeholders and enthusiasts.

GVEA will host a dedication ceremony Tuesday for the new fast-charging station. But the station, located at 758 Illinois St., already is open for business.

Users must register first with the station operator, FLO, and then they can pay through an app or with a payment card. Payments are processed by FLO. The cost is set by GVEA at 20 cents per minute.

“For most vehicles, 50kW rapid chargers are the quickest way to get to 100%, providing a full battery (150-300 miles of range) after about an hour of charging,” according to the FLO website.

FLO operates one of the largest EV charging networks in the nation. The company notes that its fast charging stations are built to withstand extreme weather. FLO also has a 24-hour support line for consumers.

“These chargers serve the Interior, including commuters from surrounding communities of Delta Junction, Nenana, Healy and Denali,” said Meadow Bailey, GVEA spokeswoman.

“The chargers were installed to help expand the network of chargers in Interior Alaska, which is in the beginning stages of buildout, so every charger installed is significant,” Bailey said.

GVEA owns the DC fast chargers at its campus. The company also supported the recent installation of an EV DC fast charger in Cantwell, in partnership with ReCharge Alaska.

“ReCharge Alaska is supplying GVEA with information on charging statistics from the Cantwell station,” Bailey said. “This information will be used to inform future decisions regarding charger installation.”

EV chargers at other Interior locations

The DC fast chargers in Fairbanks also represent the northernmost location for the stations.

Across the Interior, there are traditional (slower) charging stations at Roads End RV Park, North Pole; Chena Hot Springs Resort; Coldfoot; Snowed RV Park, Delta Junction; and Denali National Park and Preserve area.

GVEA has a history of testing and advancing electric vehicle technology in the Interior, Bailey noted. In 1971, GVEA tested an early electric vehicle in Fairbanks.

“With recent technological advances, there is increasing interest in owning an EV,” Bailey said.

“Right now we are focused on getting charging sites built, either assisting with charging stations or building them ourselves with the goal of developing infrastructure along the road system, so people can confidently drive where they want or need to in the Interior.”

Shein, a Tesla owner, applauded the arrival of the FLO fast charger in Fairbanks. But he said that Alaska leaders need to do more to attract national charging network operators, including Tesla and Electrify America, “so there will be a more uniformed EV fast-charging experience.”

Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at lhersey@newsminer.com. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.

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