The owner of several companies based in southwest Iowa is counting on more motorists in the midwest buying electric vehicles in years to come. Mike Howard is planning to install eight electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the town of Elk Horn. He says it’s part of an on-going effort to incorporate “green” technologies into his local businesses.
Howard is already in the process of converting his businesses to run primarily on solar energy. “Over the next two years, we’re going solar…we’re looking at getting 80% of our power from the sun,” Howard said. The first four EV charging stations will be unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 12th.
Four more stations will be added in 2010, giving Elk Horn the largest number of charging stations per capita in the world. “Part of the reason we’re doing this…we’ve got to have the infrastructure,” Howard explained. “We the need the infrastructure for fleet evaluations. We’re actually going to be evaluating electrical vehicles for manufacturers from around the world here in Elk Horn.”
Various auto makers plan to release around two dozen different electric vehicles within the next two years. Howard says that’s why his company, Iron Eagle Technologies, will be installing more EV charging stations throughout the Midwest. “We’re going to be putting more of these stations along the Interstate 80 corridor,” Howard said. “So essentially if you have an electric vehicle, it would be set up all the from Madison, Wisconsin or Chicago all the way to Denver.”
Howard says depending on the type of vehicle being charged, the charging process could take anywhere from three to eight hours. Newer technology, currently under development, will reduce that time to as little as 30 minutes.
Contributed by Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic