The Car of Tomorrow

This Chevy Volt, was photographed during the 2011 Clarinda Chamber of Commerce Holiday Showcase. The Volt features a fully electric drive train that provides high performance. (Herald-Journal photo by Bob Eschliman)

MidAmerican Energy Company launched a first-of-its kind effort in Iowa to establish a network of electric vehicle fast-charging stations in more than a dozen cities throughout the state.

The company plans to build publicly accessible direct current fast-charging stations, with two charging plugs per station, in 15 urban and rural communities. A DC fast-charger, also called a “Level 3” charger, can generally charge an electric vehicle in 20-45 minutes.

MidAmerican Energy is now accepting applications from businesses and community entities in targeted areas that are interested in hosting charging facilities that MidAmerican Energy will purchase, install and maintain. The company will select at least one location in each targeted area.

MidAmerican Energy seeks to install DC fast-charging sites in Altoona, Avoca, Carroll, Clarinda, Davenport, Dexter, Early, Emmetsburg, Iowa City, Fort Dodge, Little Sioux, Oskaloosa, Sheldon, Sioux City and Waterloo, which are all within the company’s service territory.

“We’re investing in a program that supports our customers by making emission-free driving more attractive and convenient,” Nick Nation, electric operations general manager, said. “This goes hand-in-hand with MidAmerican Energy’s vision to provide our customers with 100% clean, renewable energy.”

Once MidAmerican Energy selects site hosts, the company plans to begin building the charging network by the end of the year.

Charging station hosts will set their own usage fees, consistent with state laws and regulations.

“Car owners and potential buyers tell us access to charging stations within reach of the routes they drive will improve their confidence the electric vehicle will meet their needs,” Nation said. “We’ve come up with a plan to address the range anxiety issue by building an infrastructure of 15 fast-charging stations across Iowa that should be within roughly 50 miles of each other. We think our efforts will help jump-start Iowa’s electric vehicle industry.”

Electric vehicle and charger rebates

To further promote electric vehicle adoption in Iowa, this year, MidAmerican Energy started offering electric vehicle and charging station rebates to its customers.

The company provides $500 rebates to residential customers who buy or lease a new electric vehicle.

The company also offers $1,500 rebates to businesses that purchase “Level 2” charging stations, which generally charge electric vehicles in 4-8 hours.

Rebate information is available on the company’s website at MidAmericanEnergy.com.

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