Nevada installs electric car charging stations around the state

LAS VEGAS - Nevada is preparing for an influx of electric cars even without Faraday Future.

Anticipating a surge in electric car sales, the state has been installing charging stations on U.S. 95 and U.S. 93.

On Monday, Faraday Future announced that it was pulling out of North Las Vegas and looking elsewhere to manufacture its cars.  But, that's not stopping the electric car movement.  Tesla has started production on a more affordable model of its popular electric cars.

Other automakers around the world are also boosting output, so Nevada is trying to get ahead of the curve.

Enjoying the freedom of the road and driving for hours on end, it's something electric car drivers haven't been able to take part in -- until recently.

Best friends Saoly Benson and Kayden Phan own twin Teslas, and thanks to the innovation of adding charging stations around the state, the two women can now spend most of their weekends on the road looking for adventure.

"It's just a fun car to drive," Benson said.   

The pair average around 280 miles per charge; that's more than enough to get them through their daily grinds.

"I travel a lot for my job, Benson said. "I travel to four different offices in town."

Phan says her Tesla is also functional.

"I pick up tile, grout, I have carried baseboards with this," Phan said.  "I've had trees in here."

Those traveling across Nevada will see plenty of Tesla Superchargers within that range to top-off their batteries.

However, Teslas aren't the only electric cars hitting the open highway.

"We're getting a head start," said Angie Dykema, Director, Governor's Office of Energy.  "We're getting an early start."

The state of Nevada is doing its part to service the growing array of other electric vehicles hitting the streets.

Take U.S. 95.  The area from Las Vegas to Reno is dubbed the "Electric Highway."


   
In fact, by year's end, four charging stations will be on the road, spaced about two hours apart. The Beatty station was installed first, and soon charging stations will be installed at the Hawthorne rest area.

And the best part? All of it is at no cost to taxpayers.

How?  Federal grants and partnerships with electric companies take care of the funding.

"One of the things we're planning on is working with Volkswagen and their 'Electrify America,' and building out the infrastructure on Interstates 80 and 15," Dykema said.

The state expects to have charging stations installed on all major highways in Nevada by 2020.

Phan and Benson, two self-proclaimed electric car fanatics say they've seen the progress.

"I've noticed more chargers at the charging stations," Phan said. "There are also attachments to the chords if it's not a 240 volt." 

The state has also completed installing charging stations on U.S. 95 in Fallon and U.S.93 in Panaca.  Tonopah is expected to get a charging station by year's end as well.

The state-built charging stations are free to use, for the first five years they're operational.


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