Ever noticed the strange-looking gas pump in the Walgreens parking lot at Montfort and Belt Line? That’s an eVgo electric vehicle charging station – the only public-use eVgo charging station in Dallas city limits.
Ever seen a vehicle actually using the station? Yeah, neither have we.
However, there are a few electric cars pass through there. The usage numbers vary from day to day, receiving anywhere from a couple of uses a day to five to 10. Carly Kade, eVgo communications specialist, would not give exact numbers for that location, but he says it’s used more than the company’s five other stations around Dallas-Fort Worth. The eVgo Network has plans to open 20 more before the end of 2012.
In competition with the eVgo and Walgreens collaboration, Kroger has teamed up with ECOtality to install 20 electrical vehicle charging stations by the end of the year. There are four in the Metroplex, though none are in Far North Dallas. These stations add 12 to 15 miles for every hour of charge.
The eVgo stations differ from other electric car chargers because of the freedom charging stations that will provide 50 miles of range after just 15 minutes.
The Belt Line-Montfort charging station was the original eVgo North Texas location, and Walgreens is working with eVgo to host 800 more charging stations in Houston, DFW and Chicago.
Most people in the eVgo Network have personal stations in their home, so the freedom charging stations, like the one at Walgreens, are more of a security blanket for owners of electric cars to know they’ll be able to get home.
Kade says it’s a chicken and egg kind of situation. The only way for their network to be successful is if people purchase electric cars and need to use their charging stations. On the other hand, people may not be ready to buy electric vehicles without the security and confidence that they’ll be able to charge it on the go without becoming stranded in the middle of Dallas. The company hopes that the expansion of their charging stations around the Metroplex will fuel a more loyal electric vehicle community in the area.