EV technology enters the frontier

AJ’s OldTown Steakhouse & Tavern, a roadside restaurant, has made history with electric vehicles, including as far away as Alaska.

Alaska’s first super-fast EV charging station opened on September 23 at Homer Restaurant, which specializes in introducing ribs, truffles and cocktails.

“We’re very proud to be part of the Alaska Electric Highway,” said Adrinne Sweeney, owner of AJ Steakhouse.

The AJ now boasts the convenience of fast charging plug-in technology in the parking lot for the enthusiastic team of 1,500 and a growing number of end-to-end EV owners.

The EV charging station was developed by California Freeware Technologies in collaboration with AJ, which received a grant from the Alaska Energy Authority for a fast charging project. In addition to receiving the grant money, the restaurant had to invest in the project. The authority has provided a list of pre-qualified sellers.

The installation is part of the Authority’s grand plan to facilitate corridors of fast charging stations from Peninsula to Ferbank. “They will eventually become like gas stations,” said Curtis Tyr, director of the Alaska Energy Authority. We need EV charging stations just like we need gas stations.

In addition to Homer, fast charging stations are planned for 515 miles of roadside station stations. Locations include Seward, Soldona, Cooper Airport, Anchorage, Chuck, Trapper Creek, Cantwell and Heli.

FreeWire is working with hosts in Soldotna and Cooper Landing. Other vendors, including Siemens and Charge Point, install instant chargers on other sites.

The goal is to have a full-fledged EV stations network in the summer of 2022.

Suddenly, AJ Steakhouse & Tavern is no longer just a local institution serving small Homer (population 5,709) and summer visitors, but the destination of EV owners Alaska.

“EV drivers are coming until morning. They are very pleased with this, ”said Rob Anderson, director of Freeway Business Development, about the recent cut of the ribbon.

Officials from the Brewery and Energy officials were present for the event, along with mobile viewers of EV drivers traveling to the venue for the event.

“Drivers are coming from all over the region. If you normally visit Homer, you will have to wait seven hours for your vehicle to pay. They can now turn around in 45 minutes, ”said Anderson.

This is enough time to sit down and eat at AJ, counting the visits of the HIV owners.

In August, the Covi Examiner emptied the restaurant until everyone was checked. The restaurant is now on a new path to economic recovery.

“Many vehicles used the station at the grand opening,” said Swayway, owner of AJ Steak House with her husband, Alex.

“My grandmother had the first gas station in Homer, and she and her husband had their first car,” she said. “It’s good to see this happen. They could not have imagined it. ”

10 minute fee, 100 miles

Connecting to the charging station is currently free in AJ. Some background information has been collected by restaurant owners and plans are in place for drivers to pay for the power supply.

Charging EV can take all day or all night with standard plug-in technology. However, the 10 minutes you get into the FreeWire fast charger can power Evin for 100 miles.

Freezing battery storage and existing low-voltage power sources for AVs are extremely fast charging, reducing the cost of electricity for host stations such as AJ’s Steakhouse & Tavern.

“If you plugged it directly into the grid, there would be incredibly high interest rates,” says Anderson. Instead, we can avoid those high costs by paying directly to the battery.

In rural communities such as Homer, where electricity is continuously supplied by low-power micro-grids, Freeware is introducing battery-powered technology. The goal is to demonstrate the sustainability of the fast charging stations in a fast-paced environment.

Freeway fast EV chargers in Alaska have a temperature control system that operates at 30 degrees below zero, Anderson said.

The company has similar projects around the world. BP Power Company is an investor in FreeWire, deploying EV fast chargers at gas stations in the UK. Freeway fast chargers are also available in Nevada, a solar-powered station without utilities.

Reducing barriers to EV adoption

Installation of fast charging stations The Alaska Energy Authority is part of a state effort to reduce EV adoption barriers.

“The construction of this fast-growing charging tunnel in Alaska will help support EVA growth across the state,” said Curtis Taylor, executive director of the Alaska Energy Authority.

In June, the authority provided nearly $ 1 million in funding to install both conventional chargers and fast chargers at nine stations. The plan is to have a station that fills up every 50 to 100 miles on the road.

The funds were obtained from Alaska in a national court agreement with Volkswagen on the issue of vehicle emissions.

Dmitry Shin, executive director of the Alaska Electric Vehicle Association, a group of EV owners across the country, said they are looking forward to the network being fully integrated.

Similarly, the authority questioned the decision to set up roadside corridors for charging stations operated by various suppliers. Freeware is one of the vendors of technology.

He said EV drivers may need to install various apps to use the various charging stations on the road. “There may be different ways to process payments, and if a site fails, different response times are expected differently,” he said.

But Tyre said, “It was never intended to be a one-size-fits-all solution. We want individual site hosts to identify the companies you want to work with.

“The site’s hosts have invested in the installers. This is not just a grant. They are giving away their property and paying for some expenses, ”said Tyre.

The authority also has the opportunity to see how different vendors work. The authority can gather information to better understand the use of the system.

Texas companies are vying for control of the fast-growing EV charging stations in the United States, including Alaska. Tesla is deploying battery-powered technology to one or more fast charging stations in Alaska communities.

The Alaska Energy Authority plans to continue its partnership with private companies to help expand fast charging EV stations.

The authority is working on potential projects at the Tok, Glennal and Delta intersections, as well as in southeastern Alaska.

“As long as there is financial support and interest, we want to see the corridor grow,” Tire said.


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