Global EV sales increased greatly in both volume and market share in 2021, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency, who works with countries around the world to shape energy policies for a secure and sustainable future. “It’s expected that EV sales in the U.S. will grow from around 500,000 vehicles in 2021 to over 4 million in 2030,” according to visualcapitalist.com.
Lowell Light & Power was in the forefront of technology in 2017 when Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations were installed. With growth in the EV Community and advances in technology, it was time to proceed with a second generation of chargers.
Working together for the community, in alignment with Downtown Development Authority’s mission to serve downtown, the City of Lowell, the DDA, LL&P and Flat River Electric collaborated to upgrade the two Electric Vehicle charging stations in downtown Lowell; making downtown Lowell a destination to EV drivers.
In early 2022, the DDA voted to take over control of the two charging stations and authorized the purchase of the upgraded stations. Lowell Light & Power and the City of Lowell evaluated the purchase and coordinated the efforts to get the new chargers installed. Flat River Electric helped bring this project to fruition by becoming certified for installation of ChargePoint charging stations. This enabled the use of a local contractor for the installation.
ChargePoint is one of the largest networks of electric vehicle charging stations in the US, including a map of stations throughout the state of Michigan. EV drivers will be able to locate our town on the ChargePoint map and save us as a favorite charging destination. ChargePoint’s app will provide EV drivers with additional information, including how much it costs to charge, how many charging spots are available, photos of where the stations are, as well as tips from other drivers.
The new charging stations were installed on Monday, April 11, 2022. Prior to the upgrade, Lowell’s charging stations could only charge one vehicle at a time, while the new chargers are dual port chargers, allowing two vehicles to charge at the same time. That means four vehicles can charge simultaneously.
Charging times range due to battery size, whether the battery is empty or just needs to be “topped up,” the car’s charging capacity, and even the weather.
With a charging station on both sides of the Flat River, EV drivers can easily enjoy the walkability of Lowell’s downtown area. “These chargers put Lowell on the map for EV drivers. This will play a major role in attracting people from outside of our community to come visit Lowell. They can charge their vehicle while they eat and shop in our great downtown area,” said City Manager, Mike Burns.