Kansas City area getting huge new electric car charging network – 1000+ charging stations, including fast charging

The Kansas City metropolitan area is one of America’s Big Cities, but for some reason it’s electric car charging network has been limited in number, with very few fast charging stations.  All that’s about to change thanks to a new joint announcement from ChargePoint and Kansas City Power And Light.  KCP&L is committed to installing more than 1,000 charging stations, with more than 2,000 charging ports, in the Greater Kansas City area, making it the largest deployment of charging stations by an electric utility (to date) in the U.S.

The laws in Kansas and Missouri must be a little different California’s.  In California it’s a breakthrough thing that some electric utilities are planning to directly own public charging stations, while the press release for the KCP&L deal describes this as normal.  In addition, browsing the PlugShare map for Kansas I see that Westar Energy owns several public charging stations between Kansas City and Wichita.  What’s normal there is ground breaking in California?

Anyway, back to the KCP&L Clean Charge Network, as they call it.  Here’s the map.

This is showing great coverage additions to the core of Kansas City Missouri, and in Johnson County Kansas, along with strings of charging station coverage for some outlying cities.  Marysville is quite a ways north of the KC area.

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A much-needed thing is the addition of several fast charging stations in the region.  Currently, according to PlugShare, the whole area has one single solitary fast charging (CHAdeMO) station.

The new stations include 15 fast charging stations, supplied by Nissan.  I’ve asked for clarification of this next bit, because it’s confusing when they say “which will charge any model of electric vehicle on the market”.  In theory those words mean these stations will support both the CHAdeMO and Combo Charging Systems charging protocols.  But it’s Nissan who is providing the equipment, a company that’s in the CHAdeMO camp.  On the other hand Nissan’s representatives say in public that we need to deploy dual protocol equipment for the betterment of the whole industry.  Perhaps they mean what the words say, and these are dual protocol stations.  I’ve sent ChargePoint a query for clarification, and will post it when that’s available. UPDATE: ChargePoint responded saying that yes, indeed, the fast chargers will support both dual protocol CHADEMO and ComboCharging System.

According to the press release these stations will already have begun – “Installation of the charging stations began in late 2014” – and will be finished this summer.  This isn’t KCP&L’s first charging station deployment. In 2011 they deployed 10 charging stations, working with the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition, and since then their Smart Grid experiments have resulted in further charging station deployments.

According to the map all the fast charging stations will be next to well known destinations like the main library, the Plaza garage (the Plaza is a major shopping area), other shopping like the Price Chopper  in Blue Springs or the Starbucks in Olathe.

 

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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