The Snohomish County PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building.

The Snohomish County PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building.

PUD installs fast chargers for electric vehicle drivers

Funding for the t62.5-kilowatt chargers came in part from fines paid by Volkswagen over its 2015 diesel engine scandal.

  • Friday, July 22, 2022 1:30am
  • Life

By Snohomish County PUD

For modern drivers, the switch to an electric vehicle can be difficult. The biggest obstacle usually has to do with charging — whether it be an inability to install a charger at a residence or finding reliable charging while on the road.

In fact, a recent study found that one in five EV drivers in California actually reverted to an internal-combustion engine vehicle, citing charging hassles as the top reason for the switch.

Here in Snohomish County, travelers along I-5 and U.S. 2 now have a convenient place to quickly charge up their electric vehicle in downtown Everett, helping them get back on the road and to their destination quickly.

After years of planning and coordination with the City of Everett, the PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building. These chargers are the first of their kind in downtown Everett and will be open to the public around the clock.

“We’re proud that this increases accessibility to public charging for our customers and drivers in our service area,” PUD CEO/General Manager John Haarlow said. “We hope that it makes a possible switch to an electric vehicle easier for more drivers.”

The new chargers are ChargePoint fast chargers, which are CCS and CHAdeMO compatible and have a capacity of 62.5 kilowatts. The chargers are capable of delivering a full charge to the average EV in approximately 30 to 60 minutes. They will accept payment via credit card and through a ChargePoint account, and the PUD is charging 43 cents per kWh and an idle charge of 40 cents per minute of occupancy after 10 minutes of inactivity.

In part, the chargers are thanks to the Volkswagen diesel scandal that occurred in 2015. The PUD received $154,000 in grant funding from the Washington State Department of Ecology to cover partial project costs for building the new chargers. The grant is part of the $113 million the Department of Ecology received from the Volkswagen settlement for violations of state and federal clean air laws.

The PUD partnered with the City of Everett to make parking and sidewalk modifications that enable the chargers to be accessible to all drivers while also ensuring there would be room for a future bike lane as part of the city’s Active Connections: California Street project.

“We’re excited to be part of this project to bring more electric vehicle charging infrastructure to our city,” Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said. “Electric vehicles are an important component of our climate action plan and regional goals for clean, healthy air for all.”

Electric vehicles are a win-win in Snohomish County. Not only does it remove vehicles that contribute tailpipe emissions from the road, but EVs charged in the PUD’s service area run on some of the cleanest power in the nation. With most of its energy coming from renewable and affordable hydropower, the PUD’s fuel mix, on average, is made up of more than 95% carbon-free energy.

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