Almost every part of the world is transitioning towards electric vehicles to save the environment and cobalt climate change. Smithville is no exception, and the installation of an electric vehicle charging station on November 2 is a clear indication of the same. The location was its parking lot that is opposite the Love Cantrell Funeral Home. Several parties involved in the project saw the charging station’s idea to see the light of the day, and the major one was the Seven States Power Corporation. However, it would be unfair not to mention Tennessee Tech University and the Smithville Electric System because of their efforts that contributed to the project’s success.
It is important to note that this is just the beginning. If things go as planned, there will be more installations, and the total number will be 9. In addition to Smithville, other Upper Cumberland Region areas such as Spenser, Livingston, Carthage, Lafayette, and Cookeville also have one. As for Byrdstown, Jamestown, and Sparta, the installation will happen soon. Once the project is over, UCHRA will receive three electric vehicles to test the new transportation. They will comprise an EV shuttle bus, an EV pickup truck, and a Nissan Leaf. According to Pingen Chen, who is a Mechanical engineer assistant professor at the Tennessee Tech University, this is just but a part of what the institute is doing. The bigger picture is identifying how electric vehicles can be beneficial to the local people, including spending less on fuel and operation. The institute is conducting a 3-year research study for the same.
TTU plans to use the study to eliminate some of the challenges that electric vehicles’ transition is facing. They include the lack of charging stations, little knowledge on the subject, and little awareness generally. The expectations of both DER Deployments Director Brad Rains and Chattanooga’s Seven States Power Cooperation are that the EV drivers will take advantage of the convenience that comes with the charging stations. Out of the nine charging stations, 8 of them are level 2. Their charging rates are 7 kilowatts per hour, which is good since they serve as top-ups after charging at home for the entire night.
The operation of the electric vehicle charging station demands very little from the users. All they have to do is download an app, Chargepoint, and then create an account where a credit card is necessary. Once the account is ready, the user will scan the app upon arriving at the charging system. After that, he will plug in his car in the machine, and each hour of charging will cost him $1.