Knoxville tests new EV chargers

KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE - Researchers showed off an electric vehicle charging station that can also make electricity from sunlight and said it will be tested in Knoxville for up to six months.

The Tennessee Valley Authority and the Electric Power Research Institute dedicated the charging station and showed what it can do at a demonstration with electric vehicles built by Nissan, General Motors and Mitsubishi.

The prototype Smart Modal Area Recharge Terminal with six parking spaces can also store power and put electricity back in the power grids.

A TVA statement said Oak Ridge National Laboratory and local power companies are partners in the project. Another charging station is being built at Oak Ridge.

After testing for three to six months, other stations with a total of 125 charging spaces will be built in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville and possibly other cities over the next few years. The TVA statement said "access to the stations initially will be limited to researchers."

TVA said the stations provide enough power to charge most electric vehicles in three to eight hours, depending on the vehicle.

TVA and the institute broke ground on the charging station in June and are sharing initial costs of $500,000 to $600,000. For the project, TVA projects a cost of $50,000 to $100,000 per charging space.

TVA spokesman Mike Bradley said the station dedicated is the "first of its kind" in the TVA service area.

TVA provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.


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