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Alabama Power, ADECA announce plans to fund EV fast charging station installation along portions of I-20, I-459

Alabama Power Company on Wednesday announced that it will offer significant matching funds for a new State of Alabama grant program intended to spur the construction of electric vehicle (EV) fast charging infrastructure along portions of Interstates 20 and 459.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) recently launched a grant program that will fund the installation of Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations for electric vehicles along Alabama’s interstate corridors. This advanced technology can charge many EV batteries in less than 30 minutes.

In line with the Alabama Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan released last summer, the program will first prioritize a portion of the I-20/I-459 corridor when considering eligible projects to fund. The stretch of I-20 to be given priority runs from Tuscaloosa to the Georgia state line. Other interstate corridors in the state will receive second-tier priority under the plan.

ADECA will provide up to 80% of the cost, funded by Volkswagen settlement proceeds allocated to the State that the department administers. ADECA said that a total of up to $4,148,823 will be made available for the first award cycle; the application period opened last month and will run through March 31.

The prospects for potential awardees got even brighter when Alabama Power announced on Wednesday that the company will provide matching funds of up to 20% of the cost to install DCFCs funded through ADECA’s program.

This means that between an ADECA grant and Alabama Power matching funds, an awardee could potentially have 100% of the installation cost covered.

After ADECA selects the companies that will build the charging stations under the grant program, Alabama Power will also work with awardees on the installation, providing guidance on construction, charging station hardware and software.

“We have been EV enthusiasts for more than two decades and today’s pledge is our next step to ensure our state has the infrastructure needed to support the growth of EVs,” stated Jeff Peoples, executive vice president of Customer and Employee Services at Alabama Power Company. “As automakers roll out more options with longer-range batteries, autonomous capabilities and smart features, we recognize zero-emission EVs will play an important role in our future economy.”

RELATED: Video highlights how continued investment in EV sector could pay off for Alabama

The latest EV commitment by Alabama Power also continues to support Alabama’s large automotive manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz, which recently selected its Tuscaloosa County plant as the first location in the country to build the model EQE and EQS plug-in electric SUVs.

“Alabama must be on the cutting-edge of this vehicle revolution,” said Governor Kay Ivey in a statement. “With our state’s rich automotive history, we have the right tools in place to facilitate this shift. I commend Alabama Power for their ongoing leadership in electric vehicle education and adoption and look forward to the benefits these chargers will provide our citizens and visitors.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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