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PCI awarded grant for charging stations

News Staff Report

Poarch Band of Creek Indians will receive nearly three-quarters of a million dollars as part of Gov. Kay Ivey’s 14-grant, $11.2 million award of federal funds designed to help boost electric vehicle (EV) charging along Alabama’s interstate highways.
Thirteen of the grants, including Poarch’s, will be used to provide electric vehicle charging stations at fueling stations off the state’s various interstates. Another grant, awarded to Bevill State Community College in Jasper, will help train students to install and maintain the electric chargers.
“Having strategic electric vehicle charging stations across Alabama not only benefits EV drivers, but it also benefits those companies that produce electric vehicles, including many of them right here in Alabama, resulting in more high-paying jobs for Alabamians,” Gov. Ivey said. “This latest round of projects will provide added assurance that Alabamians and travelers to our state whose choose electric vehicles can travel those highways and know a charging station is within a reliable distance on their routes.”
PCI will receive $725,864 for installation of two duo-port chargers at Creek Travel Plaza, off Jack Springs Road and only a hundred yards or so from Interstate 65.
Funds for the projects came from the Federal Highway Administration and its plan to “strategically locate electric vehicle charging stations within reasonable charging distances for electric vehicles.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most electric cars can travel from 200 to 400 miles on a full charge.
The latest grants are a portion of about $79 million from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program that has been allocated to Alabama over several years for electric vehicle chargers. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grants.
“Alabama continues to make progress in installing charging systems for electric vehicles along major roadways,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA is pleased to support Gov. Ivey’s efforts to ensure that drivers who choose electric vehicles have access to dependable charging infrastructure as they travel the state.”
The grants were awarded through a bidding process. Among the eligibility requirements are that projects can be located no farther than a mile from an interstate and businesses must be open year-round on a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week schedule. The grants cover 80 percent of the project with each company required to supply matching funds of at least 20 percent.