An event on electric vehicles will take place at Rogers
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Drive Electric NWA at Rogers is expected to raise awareness about electric vehicles and allow attendees to ask questions about issues such as charging infrastructure or range anxiety.
Springdale-based nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Council will host the free, walk-in event from noon to 5 p.m. on September 24 in a parking lot adjacent to JCPenney at Pinnacle Hills Promenade. The event has more than ten sponsors. The rainy date is October 1.
Rob Smith, policy director for the Northwest Arkansas Council, said the idea for the event came about after discussions about how to educate people about electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. He hopes that participants will leave with a better knowledge and greater comfort of electric vehicles.
Sponsors, such as Flux Car Charging Solutions and Francis Energy, can take care of the charging infrastructure.
Smith noted the different levels of magazines. Level 1 chargers are the slowest and most commonly used at home. Level 2 loaders are slightly faster and are often found in store parking lots. He said fast, or Level 3, DC chargers can recharge an electric vehicle in 30 to 45 minutes.
As for distance anxiety, he explained that it needs to be addressed through proper planning. “That’s one of the things we want to answer,” Smith said. “Tell me about distance anxiety. Tell me how I’ll make sure I can get to Dallas. What do I have to do?”
When asked if the grid could handle electric vehicle charging, Kris Williams, director of energy services for Ozarks Electric Cooperative, said the transition to electric vehicles would happen over time. While 80% of U.S. residents are expected to own an electric vehicle by around 2055, that will only translate to a 10% to 15% increase in electricity consumption, Williams said, adding that advances in technology are improving the energy efficiency of appliances, equipment and vehicles.
Additionally, Williams said 70-80% of electric vehicles will charge at home or at work. “In preparation for this, Ozarks Electric has developed a lower energy rate that encourages vehicle charging during off-peak hours,” he said. “Charging during off-peak hours takes advantage of increased energy availability.”
Other event sponsors include car dealerships, such as Lewis Automotive Group and Nunnally Chevrolet. Additionally, Evolve Auto, an electric vehicle dealership in North Little Rock, is expected to be present at the event. Additionally, Moosejaw will enter participants into a raffle to win a Vvolt Alpha e-bike.