Kansas City Power & Light To Build 1,000 Electric-Car Charging Sites


Kansas City, Missouri, by Flickr user Paul Sableman (Used under CC License)

Kansas City, Missouri, by Flickr user Paul Sableman (Used under CC License)

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Kansas City, Missouri, will become the latest municipality to gain an electric-car charging infrastructure this year.

A local utility company is leading the effort to build a comprehensive network of charging sites for drivers of plug-in vehicles.

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Over the next several months, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) will install more than 1,000 charging sites in the greater Kansas City area.

It's the largest such installation by an electric utility in the U.S. to date, it says.

Called the Clean Charge Network, it will offer free 240-volt Level 2 and DC fast charging to electric-car drivers for the first two years of operations.

2015 Nissan Leaf

2015 Nissan Leaf

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The network will include 15 fast-charging stations provided by Nissan.

They are reportedly "combination" units that charge that can recharge an electric car using either the CHAdeMO standard (found largely in the Nissan Leaf) and the Combined Charge Standard (CCS) that is supported by all U.S. and German automakers.

The rest of the network will consist of Level 2 stations built and maintained by ChargePoint. All of the charging locations will be part of its national network of charging stations.

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That means drivers will need a ChargePoint membership and card to access the stations, even though they won't have to pay to use them for the time being.

Sites will be placed "strategically throughout KCP&L's service region," the utility company said.

KCP&L has dabbled in electric-car charging before, installing 10 stations in 2011 and subsequently adding more as part of a demonstration project.

2015 Nissan Leaf

2015 Nissan Leaf

Enlarge Photo

For this larger-scale undertaking, KCP&L hopes increased electric-car adoption will lead to more efficient use of the grid infrastructure.

It will encourage drivers to charge their cars during off-peak hours, making use of excess grid capacity.

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With public charging stations more readily available, it also seems likely that the network will increase the number of drivers plugging in, instead of filling up.

Construction of charging sites began in late 2014 and is expected to be completed this summer.

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