41°F
weather icon Clear

Electric-charging stations planned for Nye along U.S. 95

CARSON CITY — An initiative announced Tuesday by Gov. Brian Sandoval seeks to turn a desolate Nevada roadway into an “electric highway” dotted with charging stations for electric cars.

Sandoval and NV Energy officials held a news conference to announce the initiative to install charging stations in key rural communities along the U.S. Highway 95 corridor between Las Vegas and Northern Nevada.

The stations along the 400-plus mile stretch will mean electric vehicle users will be able to make the trek through Nevada’s remote heartland without running out of juice.

NV Energy President and Chief Executive Paul Caudill said the Governor’s Office of Energy is soliciting “partners” along the route, specifically in Fallon, Hawthorne, Tonopah and Indian Springs, where charging stations can be installed.

Cost of installation will be split between the utility and grants administered by the state. Electric car users will be able to power up for free, at least for an initial period.

Sandoval said Valley Electric Association has committed to installing a charging station in Beatty, about 120 miles north of Las Vegas.

He added that having charging stations will also encourage tourism to the rural communities.

“We’ve all driven this road and sometimes have anxiety about getting gas,” Sandoval said, noting the wide distances between towns and services.

Once completed, the state’s charging infrastructure for the first time will connect Nevada’s urban centers in Clark and Washoe counties.

“This is a big deal,” Sandoval said.

Paul Thomsen, director of the Governor’s Office of Energy, said each charging station will have one DC fast charger and two Level 2 chargers.

DC, or direct current chargers can charge a vehicle in less than an hour, while Level 2 chargers typically require several hours for a full charge.

That means drivers using the slower charge will have more time to spend exploring towns or getting a bite to eat.

Host sites are responsible for the cost of the power being made available for the initial time frame, though Thomsen said his office is working on a five-year program to reduce any “demand” charges they may incur associated with DC fast chargers.

The news conference was held in the parking lot of the Carson City Community Center, where two charging stations were installed last year. City officials said about 10 cars a week use the service, which is free to users for five years. The cost to the city was about $300 in the past year.

Marie Steele, manager of NV Energy’s electric vehicles and renewable energy program, said there are about 1,400 electric cars registered in Nevada. The distances they can go between charges range widely, depending on the make and model.

But electric cars do not have the distance capabilities to make the seven-hour trip nonstop.

Paul Caudill, president and chief executive officer of NV Energy, said the utility has been working for about four years on expanding the network of electric vehicle charging stations through a shared-investment program with interested businesses around the state.

There are about 150 charging stations currently in Nevada, and most of those are in the urban centers.

Sandoval said the program will make U.S. 95 among the first rural highways in the nation to be electric-car friendly.

“We’re not aware of a road as remote as 95,” he said.

Businesses and local government agencies interested in participating can apply online at www.nvenergy.com/EV. Applications will be accepted through July 10, and officials said they hope to have all the stations installed by the end of the year.

Sandoval also noted that his office is working with Tesla to install charging stations for Tesla vehicles throughout the state.

The electric-car maker was granted $1.3 billion in tax incentives last year to build a $5 billion battery factory at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center just east of Reno.

Also on the governor’s wish list — making Highway 50, aka “the loneliest road in America,” friendly territory for electric vehicles.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Nevada authorities plan Pahrump hiring event

The Nevada Department of Public Safety is planning a hiring event in Pahrump, an effort scheduled for Jan. 25.

Nevada awarded $16 million through HUD for homeless aid programs

Dozens of homeless assistance programs in Nevada will receive more than $16 million in federal grants with more than $13 million coming to Clark County.

Pahrump sophomore Tiffini Thompson taking on public speaking

Pahrump Valley High School sophomore Tiffini Thompson stood beside a very proud Bill Newyear, of the Pahrump Valley Lions Club, to pose for photos, a bright smile on both of their faces. The purpose of the pictures? To commemorate the moment following her win at the club level of the District 46 Lions Club Student Speakers Contest.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, Jan. 18 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $7 million.

Crab Fest returns to Pahrump Valley

Those who love to devour delectable fresh crab while supporting a valuable local nonprofit will want to move quickly, because Pioneer Territory Court Appointed Special Advocates will be hosting its 9th Annual Crab Fest fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Nye sheriff’s office hosts Citizen Awareness Academy

About a half-dozen Pahrump residents set aside four hours of their time on Saturday, Jan. 11, in an effort to get answers to one simple question.

VEA reports clean safety record for past 18 months

Despite very challenging and potentially hazardous work environments, crews at Valley Electric Association ended the 2019 calendar year with an impeccable safety record, according to Joe Fieldsted, manager of Safety, Health, Environmental and Efficiency.

2020 Census job fairs set for this week in Pahrump

The 2020 Census is just around the corner and the U.S. Census Bureau is gearing up for the enormous decennial undertaking.

Application period opens for rural development grants

Applications are being accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for grants that support businesses and jobs in rural Nevada. The Rural Business Development Grant has several uses to rural areas: technical assistance, training and other activities.

Pahrump chamber holds 2020 awards gala

Business and other leaders around Pahrump gathered for the Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Installation and Awards Gala in mid-January.