Alaska Energy Authority picks sites for electric vehicle chargers

Jun 16, 2021

Credit Sabine Poux/KDLL

Four sites on the Kenai Peninsula will be home to electric vehicle chargers as part of the railbelt-wide electric vehicle charging corridor, set to be finished next summer.

Northern Outdoors in Soldotna, AJ’s in Homer, Grizzly Ridge Lodge in Cooper Landing and the Seward Chamber of Commerce were all awarded grants from the Alaska Energy Authority to install fast chargers on their properties. That grant money, distributed at about $110,000 a piece, comes from a 2017 settlement with Volkswagen over a diesel emissions scandal.

The peninsula businesses are part of a group of nine sites that will line the railbelt with a continuous line of electric vehicle charging stations, from Homer and Seward up toward Fairbanks. The furthest north station on the list right now is the Three Bears in Healy.

Fast chargers can charge electric vehicles in under an hour. Most of the sites on the list would also have Level 2 electric vehicle chargers, which typically takes around eight hours to charge a car.

The grants from the Alaska Energy Authority will pay for charger installation and maintenance. Charging site hosts must pay for their own electricity. Railbelt utilities are currently proposing a new regulatory structure to make that electricity more affordable to site hosts.