City Adds Charging Options for Electric Vehicles

A fully-charged battery is now at the fingertips of environmentally-conscious electric vehicle owners in Kansas City. Over the summer, the City installed its first on-street electric vehicle charging stations. The installs are part of the KCP&L Clean Charge Network, a partnership between the City and Kansas City Power & Light that launched in 2015.

To meet the demands of downtown EV users, two charging stations were installed on Southwest Boulevard near Broadway Boulevard and another at 9th and McGee. Previously, the Clean Charge Network only included stations in parking garages and some surface lots. Kansas City resident Jonathan Wagner, who works in the Crossroads and drives a Nissan Leaf, is thrilled with the new installs. “The benefit of an on-street charging station is increased visibility and access. Some stations are located in parking lots that aren’t always open.”

KCP&L recently reported that Kansas City leads the nation in electric vehicle adoption with a 78 percent increase in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 2016.

“We’re proud to continue our dedication to sustainability by offering more parking options for residents and visitors who drive electric vehicles. We have a great partner in KCP&L,” says Public Works Director Sherri McIntyre.

A typical electric vehicle takes between two to four hours to charge. Wagner says it takes time and practice to gauge how far your vehicle can go on a full battery, even with range estimating technology in the vehicle. “Once, I ended up about a half-mile away from my house with a dead battery and when the tow truck arrived, we both laughed for a good five minutes at the absurdity of the situation,” Wagner said. “She said I was the first EV she had towed.”

Nate Staley, a Northland resident who also drives a Nissan Leaf, says he mainly uses the EV chargers at Kauffman Stadium and the Zoo. However, he likes the idea of being able to access a station on street downtown. “Lack of walkability surrounding EV charging spots is a major gripe for EV users. It is nice to charge my car and have a sidewalk nearby for a change.”

Upping the ante for the electric vehicle users is yet another green move for the City, after a recent listing among the EPA’s 2017 list of top cities with Energy Star certified buildings. You can find a link to a KCP&L map of EV charging stations at kcmo.gov/parking.