With more and more individuals making the switch from gas-powered to electric-powered vehicles, the need for charging stations is increasing.
One company, Qwik Charge, is trying to meet that need while partnering with a Cumming-based business owner to bring more stations to the area.
Andrew Richard, one of Qwik Charge’s founders, said Forsyth County only has four chargers.
With demand growing, his company is working to increase that number to reduce range anxiety, which plagues many electric vehicle, or EV, drivers.
“Range anxiety refers to the [concern] of how far you can get with your EV’s charge, and [it] can be real, especially for newer EV drivers,” Richard said. “There’s enough road rage out there already; we are trying to reduce any mileage anxiety, too.”
Recently, Charge Point, the world’s largest and most open EV charging network, announced it had delivered more than 19 million charges with more than 31,000 charging spots.
However, only 391 of those stations are express spots — stations that get an EV’s battery to about 80 percent in 30 minutes.
That, Richard said, is where Qwik Charge comes in.
“People can’t spend one and a half hours fully charging their cars,” he said. “You need the [charging] to take the time it takes to run and do a grocery shop, a load of laundry or get a quick bite to eat. That’s what we’re trying to do – make it fast.”
With EV batteries only getting larger, charge time is also increasing, he said, which makes quick charging more essential.
“We want to do things local; we use local electric providers and we’re able to get [them] cheaper,” Richard said. “What we’re trying to do is figure out prominent places and opportunities for people to come together and create a charging network, locally. Our services will allow for navigating the roads without the worries of finding a place to charge and being able to charge quickly enough to arrive to the next destination on time.”
Qwik Charge is working to get small private businesses and gas stations involved that would want to take advantage of the charging opportunities, which he said will only ultimately benefit the businesses.
“By having these stations, merchants bring in more revenue [because] they’re bringing in more people,” he said. “This means a building owner can charge more rent. And we know electric car owners are responsible. They are health and economically conscious because they own one of these vehicles.”
He also said the federal government gives tax credits to both businesses who offer charging stations and those who drive the EVs.
Businesses that purchase and install electric vehicle charging stations may be eligible for a tax credit of 30 percent of the qualifying costs, up to $30,000.
Local power agent Georgia Power Co. offers a $500 rebate to install AC Level 2 charging stations at commercial buildings that they serve.
Drivers, too, get certain tax incentives.
Richard emphasized the number of EVs on the road is only going to grow, which is why quick charging stations are needed now.
“If you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad or you work 30-40-50 miles from work, you really don’t need a gas vehicle anymore. I’m not saying get rid of all gas vehicles, but EVs are becoming increasingly popular,” he said. “My kids are not going to be driving a gas-powered car and neither will my grandkids, so we need this [now.]”
To find a local charging station, visit na.chargepoint.com/charge_point.