Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Julesburg EV Charging Station Could Be Rural Area Game-Changer

The Colorado charging station bypasses the requirement for a three-phase power distribution system, which is not easily available in rural electric systems, by using existing infrastructure. Many hope this encourages electric vehicle adoption.

(TNS) — A new electric vehicle charging station installed recently in Julesburg, Colo., could be a game changer for rural areas across the West, according to a press release from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

The charging station, installed by Holyoke-based Highline Electric Association (HEA) with financial support from Tri-State, bypasses the requirements for a three-phase power distribution system that other chargers need, and that is not as readily available in many rural electric systems.

"One of the major impediments to the development of rural electric charging network is the nature of local power systems needed to keep charging times meaningful for consumers," the press release notes.

Most commercial charging equipment requires three conductors to meet the power demand of a Direct-Current, Fast-Charger (DCFC), and that limits where rural utilities can place such stations without having to make costly three-phase line extensions, according to the press release.

The FreeWire® Boost™ Charger 150, from Newark, California-based FreeWire Technologies, installed in Julesburg uses existing rural distribution systems and battery-integrated technology and provides comparable charging times to other commercial chargers. The hope is that the availability of such stations will alleviate range anxiety for consumers, particularly in rural areas, and make adoption of EVs more practical. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has set a goal of having nearly 1 million electric vehicles on Colorado's roadways by 2030.

"The FreeWire direct-current, fast charger is one of the first of its kind in Colorado in that it can use existing single-phase conductors, in combination with battery storage technology, to charge vehicles comparable to charging times for systems currently available in the market today," said Dennis Herman, general manager for Highline Electric Association. "This represents a breakthrough in efforts to offer reasonable charging times with the distribution systems we have available in rural areas."

"FreeWire is thrilled to play a leading role in HEA's electrification plans," said Daniel Zotos, FreeWire's director of communications. "Our charging solutions require minimal electrical infrastructure investment, significantly reducing permitting and installation times. As charging demand continues to surge, we are seeing our ultrafast, battery integrated chargers offer the streamlined, shovel-ready solution that many entering the EV charging space are looking for."

"As part of our Responsible Energy Plan, Tri-State is supporting rural electric vehicle infrastructure solutions to advance our members' and Tri-State's electrification goals," said Reg Rudolph, Chief Energy Innovations Officer for Tri-State.

The technology in the FreeWire charger can generally charge an EV to an 80 percent state of charge within 30 to 45 minutes, depending on battery size, according to the press release. Without a battery-integrated, DCFC station, charging times in rural areas could be much longer.

The charger also offers a unique ability to charge two cars at once from a single source, which can also be a time saver for consumers, the press release adds.

The new charging station is located at the Wagon Wheel Conoco just off Interstate 76 near Julesburg. This puts it 180 miles from Denver, and 30 miles from the next nearest charging station. According to the release, HEA plans to collect data from the charging station and expand its use to other locations within its service territory.

The Colorado Energy Office also provided some funding for the FreeWire fast charger.

(c)2022 The Fort Morgan Times, Colo. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Special Projects