Thomas Shults, a senior at Asheville High School, contributed to this post through research for his Senior project.Guest Blog | December 29, 2016
Asheville, North Carolina just topped another list of must-visit places in the USA, so it’s logical to assume that visitor traffic to the Land of Sky will continue to increase in 2017. Here at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, we hope that some of those visitors will arrive in their hybrid or electric vehicles (EV). Fortunately for EV and hybrid owners living near or traveling to Asheville, we have a network of EV charging stations in place with more on the way in 2017.
One of the best ways to find charging stations in Asheville, or anywhere around the country, is via a quick visit to PlugShare.com, which allows users to find and review charging stations, and to connect with other plug-in vehicle owners. A quick query for ‘Asheville’ shows an extensive network of publicly-accessible stations around Asheville and in surrounding counties – with a mix between stations that can be used free of charge and those that require payment as well as variations in charger speed from Level 1 (slow chargers) to Level 3 and Level 4 (fastest charger).
Asheville’s two local colleges, University of North Carolina- Asheville and Asheville-Buncombe Technical College (or AB-tech), have charging stations on campus and the station at UNCA’s Reuters Center is powered by solar panels. Another solar-powered charging station in Asheville is at SACE’s offices at 46 Orchard Street. Our unit is Level 2 GE Durastation dual cord EV charger capable of charging a vehicle from 0-100% in ~4-8 hours assuming a 24kwh battery. The station is located off I-240 just north of downtown Asheville. It is open to the public 24-7 and is currently free to charge. Other charging stations that visitors to Asheville may encounter are at the Asheville Outlets, Ingles supermarkets around town, Whole Foods on Tunnel Road, Earth Fare South, Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Park Town Square and at most of the dealerships in town that sell electric cars (Anderson Nissan, Asheville Chevrolet, Skyland Automotive, and Boyd Chevrolet Cadillac Buick).
Electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, Ford Focus Electric, and many others are providing viable transportation choices while cutting oil use, reducing emissions and supporting local economic development. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), EVs have the potential to reduce U.S oil use by 1.5 million barrels a day by 2035 and save drivers thousands of dollars in fuel costs — up to $13,000 over the lifetime of the vehicle as compared to a gasoline-powered vehicle. Because EVs get all or some of their power from electricity, it’s important how that electricity is generated in determining the overall emissions reduction potential of the vehicle. Thus, increasing renewable energy generation in the Southeast, like at our office here in Asheville or another office in Knoxville, is helping improve the benefits of EVs. We at SACE are proud to host more opportunities for people to drive greener. For more information, visit our website and when you next visit the Land of Sky, come get charged up on sunshine in Asheville!