Kansas City experienced the most growth of electric vehicle (EV) adoption in the United States, helping transform the region into a hot spot for electric vehicles and meeting a key goal of KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network.
According to 2016 fourth-quarter numbers released by IHS Automotive and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Kansas City tops the nation in electric vehicle growth, over cities like Las Vegas, Denver and Miami. Since deployment of the network began in 2015, the metropolitan area has experienced a 95 percent increase in electric vehicle adoption. In addition, Kansas City was awarded number one in driver and charging station growth by ChargePoint, a manufacturer of EV charging stations, in 2016.
“The Clean Charge Network provided the necessary charging infrastructure for drivers, but also made Kansas City the gold standard for electric transportation,” said Chuck Caisley, KCP&L’s vice president for marketing and public affairs. “Kansas City has built a reputation as an innovative and sustainable place to live, and we’re proud to contribute to that success.”
Increasing Awareness and Overcoming Range Anxiety
A study from the National Academy of Sciences listed a lack of awareness and range anxiety — or the fear of running out of charge — as typical barriers to electric vehicle adoption. The KCP&L Clean Charge Network has set out to overcome them.
“With the sheer number of charging stations — strategically located where people live, work and play — KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network eliminated range anxiety in the Kansas City region. The idea is to allow people to charge their cars as they do their cell phones, plugging in as they go about their daily lives,” said Caisley.
The KCP&L Clean Charge Network is one of the nation’s largest electric car charging networks and the first major network implemented by a public utility. Nearly 90 percent of the planned 1,000 public charging stations have now been installed throughout the Kansas City metro area, with more deployed every day. The network has offered free charging to EV drivers since its debut.
The Clean Charge Network is part of KCP&L’s vision for a more sustainable future and enhanced energy innovation in the region, helping to attract companies and talent. Increased adoption of electric cars also has environmental benefits, reducing reduce carbon emissions to help the region attain EPA regional ozone standards.