Red dots on the map show the approximate locations of fast electric vehicle chargers proposed for Indiana highways. A group of Indiana electric utilities will receive $5.5 million to install them. Provided image
Red dots on the map show the approximate locations of fast electric vehicle chargers proposed for Indiana highways. A group of Indiana electric utilities will receive $5.5 million to install them. Provided image

EVANSVILLE — Electric vehicle drivers will soon be able to charge batteries in minutes instead of hours along major highways in Indiana, including six chargers in the Evansville area. 

The direct current fast charger stations can power up electric vehicle batteries in a matter of minutes instead of hours, making extended travel easier for electric vehicle drivers. 

While more common Level 2 chargers recharge batteries at a rate of 10-20 miles of range per hour and take up to eight hours to fully charge, because fast chargers use direct current and higher voltage, they charge at rates of 60-80 miles of range per 20 minutes of charging, according to Greater Indiana, a nonprofit dedicated to educating about alternative fuel vehicles.

A group of eight Indiana electric utilities, including CenterPoint Energy, will receive more than $5.5 million from the state to install 61 fast chargers statewide. 

"When you put in these charging stations, it is going to have an effect on electric vehicle adoption. We'll see more people driving them because they'll realize the charging stations are there," said David Owen, CenterPoint's manager of clean air technologies.

The six slated for Southwestern Indiana will be in CenterPoint's operating territory. They will likely be installed half in 2022 and half in 2023, said Alyssia Oshodi, a CenterPoint spokeswoman. Exact locations have not been decided, although she said one may be near CenterPoint's Downtown Evansville offices.

But one will be within a mile of Interstate 69 somewhere near Oakland City. The group of utilities was careful to consider spacing out the chargers so more rural areas will be served as well as metropolitan or high-traffic areas, Owen said.

"We're expecting to put in charging stations that can put in (to batteries) about 10 miles per minute, so if you sit there for 15 minutes you're going to get another 150 miles back," Owen said. 

In general, the chargers will be located about every 50 miles along interstates and some other major roadways in the state, he said.

However, because Southwest Indiana has only two interstates, most of the charger locations in the region will be closer to Evansville, Owen said.  These include one on Indiana 62 midway to Mount Vernon and one near the U.S. 41-Interstate 64 interchange.

A variety of privately owned networks operate the chargers, with users typically paying by becoming members of the network and inputting their payment information into an account.

The money for installing the chargers will come from Indiana's share of a $2.9 billion lawsuit settlement between the United States and Volkswagen over faulty pollution controls in some Volkswagen vehicles. The money has to be used for projects that will reduce pollution emissions from diesel-powered vehicles.

Transportation accounts for more of the United States' greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

© 2022 courierpress.com, All rights reserved.