With all of the focus on electric cars and building out a more-robust charging infrastructure in the US, you’d think that there would have been some old gas stations repurposed into EV charging stations. Well, until very recently you’d have been wrong.
It turns out that while that might seem like a total no-brainer of an idea, nobody had acted on it until Depeswar Doley made the switch this summer at his gas station in Takoma Park, Maryland, according to a report published Thursday by CNBC.
His station, RS Automotives, has been around since the late 1950s, but it was just this year that he began to question the way that gasoline companies do business and looked at reevaluating his business model. He wasn’t totally convinced that swapping his pumps for chargers would be the way forward until his daughter pushed him over the edge.
Maryland currently has around 21,000 electric vehicles registered for road use, and while that’s not a massive number compared to places like California, it also has something of a shortage of charging stations, which leads to long waits. On top of that, there’s an electric cab company doing business in and around Takoma Park, and the city’s two chargers were just not cutting it.
“You notice there are not too many electric vehicles on the road,” said Mr. Doley in a statement to CNBC. “So it’s not something that I expect to become rich overnight or something like that, but it’s a good cause [and] good for the environment.”
RS Automotives has four DC fast chargers rated for 200 kilowatts, which means that customers can get in and out relatively quickly, and while they’re waiting the 30-ish minutes for their car to hit 80% charge, they can go into the automated convenience store where there are screens displaying rates of charge for each of the four chargers.
What’s even cooler is that Mr. Doley didn’t have to go totally out of pocket to make the switch from dino squeezin’s to angry pixies. The Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration helped out by cofunding a grant for $786,000.