Back in 2015, an e-vehicle charging station was installed on Thomas Street. Now, the Classic Center has installed three more charging stations in the parking lot in front of the Classic Center.
Why It’s Newsworthy: New charging stations feature one Level 3 charger and two Level 2 chargers offering Athens residents more of the infrastructure required as e-vehicle sales continue to rise.
With time being a concern for many, not all charging stations function the same. When entering the charging area, drivers will see two dual function chargers along with a faster charging station for those drivers that are in a rush.
The chief executive officer of EnviroSpark Energy Solutions, Aaron Luque, said he looks forward to making a positive impact on the lives of families that own e-vehicles by offering more level two charging stations.
Level two charging stations are efficient for work and family environments, while taking only five to six hours to completely charge an e-vehicle.
“From a business and an economic standpoint, it just makes a lot more sense to put these in. Because, hey, people are usually more focused on multifamily housing, it doesn’t matter if it takes a few hours,” he said.
According to The International Council on Clean Transportation, the United States has a lot of work to do when it comes to offering enough public and workplace charging stations by 2025.
Aaron Luque (CEO) and Frank Woodling (CFO) graduated from the University of Georgia and used this to their advantage when brainstorming the perfect sport for their new charging stations.
“In all honesty, I couldn’t think of a better spot. I mean, it’s just convenient for the drivers because you have all the bars and restaurants right here. And obviously the Classic Center has been a point of interest,” said Luque.
Although the business opportunity has flourished for Luque and Woodling, it was never really about money.
“I started a recycling company 15 years ago, and I fell in love with sustainability because there’s lots of different ways that you get to a more sustainable ecosystem. This is just one piece of the puzzle so, it’s relatively small, but it’s still significant. We are just playing our little part,” said Luque.
Nonetheless, there has been pushback from drivers when deciding to switch from a regular gas powered automobile to an e-vehicle.
Nancy Songster and John Songster came to see if their Tesla vehicle would be able to work with the new charging stations.
We were wondering what type of adapter we might need because Tesla doesn’t charge at every station. There are adapters that you have for different cars,” said Songster.
The new charging stations do work with Tesla vehicles, but some might require an adapter before use.
The Songsters are excited for the addition of new charging stations in the Athens area because they are seeing more e-vehicles than ever before.
“We are definitely seeing an increase in e-vehicles, even in our neighborhood. We live close to the entrance of our neighborhood and they go by our house frequently,” said Nancy.
With the addition of President Joe Biden’s goals to enable a clean transportation future, residents should expect to see more stations popping up in the coming years.
Gianna Perani is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in communications with a certificate in sports media at the University of Georgia.
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