RaceTrac near I-59 in Gadsden installing four EV chargers

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By Kaitlin Hoskins, News Editor

The RaceTrac store at 1715 West Grand Avenue in Gadsden will soon install four electric vehicle (EV) chargers thanks to a grant administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA).

Governor Kay Ivey, through the assistance of ADECA, has awarded 14 grants across Alabama communities totaling $11.2 million.

Thirteen of the grants will be used to provide EV charging stations at fueling stations off the state’s interstate systems, like RaceTrac in Gadsden. Another grant, awarded to Bevill State Community College in Jasper, will help train students to install and maintain the electric chargers.

“Having strategic electric vehicle charging stations across Alabama not only benefits EV drivers, but it also benefits those companies that produce electric vehicles, including many of them right here in Alabama, resulting in more high-paying jobs for Alabamians,” Ivey said.

Funds for the projects came from the Federal Highway Administration to strategically locate EV charging stations within reasonable charging distances for electric vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most electric cars can travel from 200 to 400 miles on a full charge.

The latest grants are part of about $79 million from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

“Alabama continues to make progress in installing charging systems for electric vehicles along major roadways,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said.

The grants were awarded through a bidding process. Among the eligibility requirements are that projects can be located no farther than a mile from an interstate and businesses must be open year-round 24/7. The grants cover 80 percent of the project with the companies supplying at least a 20 percent match.

The grant for the RaceTrac project totaled $331,807 and was awarded to Silver Comet Energy Inc.

Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford said he is thankful that Ivey’s administration is working with the city to make residents and travelers happy.

“This is a great thing for the City of Gadsden,” Ford said. “The chargers at the RaceTrac will bring in people travelling on the interstate. It also shows everyone that Gadsden is embracing the technology of the future. Gadsden is moving forward. And when we can bring back tax dollars to the city, that’s always a great thing.”

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