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OPPD announces five new EV fast-charging stations

February 14, 2022 | Jodi Baker | electric vehicles, energy efficiency, products & services
P&S_EV La Vista charging station 2022 fast charger

In 2018, just 400 electric vehicles were registered in OPPD’s 13-county service territory. Today, there are more than 1,500.

“More and more of our customer-owners are driving electric vehicles, and we want to continue to meet their growing needs for fast and accessible charging stations,” said Javier Fernandez, president and CEO of OPPD.

In collaboration with the City of La Vista, OPPD held a dedication ceremony Feb. 11 to celebrate the five newest chargers in our area. The event was held in the parking lot of Cabela’s, 12703 Westport Pkwy in La Vista, the site of the first new station built.

While other charging stations in our area have only Level 2, which take between two and four hours to achieve a full charge, these newest chargers are DC fast (Level 3) chargers, which take only a half hour to fully charge a vehicle. A $572,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy helped make their purchase and installation possible.

“When applying for the grant, OPPD used data from highway records, population and EV registration to select 10 strategic location options for these chargers, all along highway corridors,” said Fernandez. “Of these, NDEE selected five sites.”

Each of these new charging stations also include a Level 2 charger, per requirements of the grant, as some older EVs cannot use DC fast chargers.

ev charging station
OPPD President and CEO Javier Fernandez charges an electric vehicle at a new EV fast-charging station in La Vista on Feb. 11. Photo by Danielle Beebe-Iske

The charging stations

In addition to the La Vista station, others are located at:

  • Casey’s General Store, 210 E. 6th St., North Bend
  • Casey’s General Store, 1059 Washington St., Blair
  • Casey’s General Store, 946 11th St., Syracuse
  • Parking lot under Interstate 480, 17th & Cass Streets, Omaha

All of these locations were up and running, open for public use, as of Jan. 21. Charging fees are not set by OPPD and vary by location.

“We’re excited about this,” said OPPD customer Kevin Westhues, who drives a Chevy Bolt. “The metro needs more fast chargers like this.”

Westhues said the more opportunities EV drivers have to charge, the less anxiety they feel about driving farther distances. He hopes to see even more stations added throughout the state, as EV adoption increases.

Grant funding at work

Since 2019, OPPD has also installed five Level 2 ChargePoint™ public chargers in four other locations. Grant funding from the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance made this effort possible. These chargers are located where customers will stay for several hours, long enough for a full Level 2 charge. The chargers are located at:

  • OPPD’s Energy Plaza, 16th and Howard Streets, Omaha
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, 42nd and Emile Streets, Omaha (two chargers)
  • Mixed use office/retail development, NP Dodge, 8601 West Dodge Road, Omaha
  • Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 South 10th, Omaha

OPPD has also secured nearly $1 million in grant funding to provide rebates for drivers going electric. Since 2018, the utility has provided 312 rebates for EV purchases and 541 home EV chargers.

To locate public EV chargers near you, visit www.plugshare.com. There, you can also see the cost of charging, which varies per location.

For information on EVs, including a cost comparison calculator, currently available rebates and incentives, visit OPPD.com/ev.

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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker writes stories and shoots videos for The Wire. Jodi was a television news reporter before she came to work for OPPD as a media specialist in 2013. Jodi earned her degree in broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She's worked for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to sunny San Diego. She’s married with two bright and energetic children (a boy and a girl) and an allergy-ridden little Cairn Terrier. She and her husband enjoy catching up on some grown-up DVR time once the kiddos are asleep.

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