Posted in Changing utility, Electric Vehicles   May 15, 2018

Benton PUD & EVITA celebrate a new electric vehicle charging station

Benton PUD and EVITA (Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Transportation Alliance) members celebrate the opening of the Southridge Sports and Event Complex electric vehicle charging station. This is the first of nine electric vehicle charging stations being installed as part of a pilot project led by EVITA and its partners, Greenlots and EV4. 


EVITA is an industry collaboration comprised of Energy Northwest, Benton PUD, Franklin PUD, Benton REA, City of Richland Energy Services, City of Ellensburg Energy Services and TRIDEC. All stations will be operated by Greenlots during the pilot project.
EVITA received a $405,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Partnerships Program for the installation of electrical vehicle direct current, or DC, fast charging stations along eastern Washington highway corridors. The proceeds of the grant will be combined with public and private matching funds and in-kind contributions for the installation of the nine stations.
Benton PUD partnered with the City of Kennewick, Greenlots and EV4 to build the charging station at the City of Kennewick’s Southridge Sports and Event Complex. 
“We appreciate the City of Kennewick’s partnership with this project,” said Chad Bartram. “They provided an excellent location for both local and tourism use.”
The Southridge Sports and Events Complex electric vehicle charging station is located in the southwest parking lot along W. Hilderbrand Boulevard off of Highway 395. The other charging stations will be located at Starbuck’s on Court Street (I-182 and US 395) in Pasco, the Queensgate area (I-82) in Richland, Main Street in Connell (US 395), off Wine Country Road in Prosser (I-82), and  near the Selah exit (I-82) in Yakima. Fast charging stations electric vehicle are also planned along the I-90 corridor located in Ellensburg, Cle Elum, and George. 
The charging station has two chargers available, one is a level 2 charging station, which charges a vehicle in two to four hours, and the other is a DC fast charging station with CCS and CHAdeMO plug options, which can charge a vehicle in 20 – 40 minutes. It is the first non-Tesla DC fast charging station in the Tri-Cities.
“This project is an important first step in achieving a “win – win – win”.  It’s a win for utility customers because electric vehicles can increase utility asset utilization, spread fixed costs over a larger base of energy sales, and ultimately reduce utility rate pressures.  It’s a win for communities because it helps eliminate “range anxiety” for travelers visiting the area, and provides another charging option for local electric vehicle owners.  It’s also a win for the environment because vehicles will be powered by carbon-free hydro and nuclear energy – a positive way to reduce carbon in the transportation sector, the State’s highest emitter,” said Chad Bartram, Benton PUD General Manager. 
“Creating and funding the EV Infrastructure Bank has been a top priority for me, and I applaud these public and private sector partners for coming together to install this fast charging station in the Tri-Cities region. The charger in Kennewick is a critical link to building out a robust and reliable charging network that covers more of our state's travel corridors,” said Governor Inslee. “Now electric vehicle drivers can travel longer distances to reach more communities and destinations with range confidence. Trudi and I look forward to driving our Chevy Bolt across the state once the full string of chargers is in place.

 More information about EVITA and electric vehicles