Through a partnership between the City of Texarkana, Texas; Southwest Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO); and HomeServe, the EV charging stations were installed in the square in an effort to draw more tourists to the City’s downtown area and increase availability of local EV charging infrastructure – they are the only public EV charging stations open to multiple EV models available in either Texarkana, Texas, or Texarkana, Arkansas, which share the Courthouse-Post Office Building built in 1931 and split down the middle at the state line.
Among those attending the event were Jeff Thigpen, Alternative Energy Resource Manager, and Jennifer Harland, External Affairs Manager, both with SWEPCO; Texarkana, Texas, Mayor Allen Brown and City Manager David Orr; Texarkana, Arkansas, Mayor Bob Bruggeman and City Manager Jay Ellington; and Myles Meehan, Senior Vice President of Public Relations, HomeServe.
The installation of the EV charging stations also provides another resource for drivers traveling along Interstate 30 and is part of a larger charge to reduce range anxiety, or the worry that drivers won’t be able to recharge their car before running out of power.
One of the groups leading the effort to reduce range anxiety by building additional EV charging infrastructure is the Electric Highway Coalition, a group of 14 energy companies working to enable long-distance EV travel, and SWEPCO’s parent company, AEP, counts among the 14. One of the group’s goals is establish easily accessible EV charging stations less than 100 miles apart, connecting major highway systems across the Atlantic Coast, Midwest, Gulf and Plains.
The House passed a bipartisan infrastructure bill approved by the Senate in early November, putting $7.5 billion on the table to establish a network of EV charging stations, primarily through state grants prioritizing EV charging stations built in rural areas and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.
This charging network will become more important as more EVs take to American roads. California has announced that all new automobiles sold in the state by 2035 must be zero-emission vehicles, and General Motors has announced that it intends to discontinue production of gasoline vehicles by the same year.
However, 2035 – and a national charging network – are still in the future. Currently, 80 percent of EV charging is done at home, and homeowners prefer the faster Level 2 Charger capability. However, the process of installing a Level 2 Charger can be confusing for first-time EV owners, and 29 percent of those polled in a HomeServe survey said they would reach out to their local utility for assistance in navigating the installation of a Level 2 Charger.
HomeServe is among the first in the industry to offer a turnkey Level 2 EV charger installation and repair plan that not only provides a pre-vetted, nationwide network of licensed and insured electricians, but fills gaps in manufacturer’s warranties, covering normal wear and tear and offering protection for out-of-warranty devices. AEP’s Indiana-Michigan Power subsidiary is the first HomeServe partner to launch the EV Charger package as part of its new IM Plugged program for its customers in Indiana.
To find out more about how your utility can offer this seamless turnkey solution, contact us.