(Shoshoni, WY) – An energy company wants to install an electric vehicle charging station in Shoshoni using money from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Michele Haines, a project development associate for Francis Energy, said the federal funding would cover 80 percent of the cost for the charging station.
“Then we cover the rest,” she told the Shoshoni Town Council during a regular meeting this week, including maintenance and operation costs. “It costs the city nothing. … You guys basically don’t have to lift a finger and it brings the traffic in.”
Shoshoni’s charging station would be added to the map that electric vehicle owners use to find charging stations, Haines explained.
“When someone goes on their phone that owns an electric vehicle, (it will say) ‘Your next charge is in Shoshoni,’” she said. “Which of course (means) you’re going to bring more traffic through. … That can be great for your local businesses, and it doesn’t cost the city anything.”
The plan only requires access to three-phase power and 600 square feet of space, she said – enough to accommodate four parking spots.
“That’s kind of it, in a nutshell,” she said. “Right now, the funding is there for everybody who wants to take advantage of it.
“It won’t be always.”
Mayor Joel Highsmith agreed that it wouldn’t be “financially feasible” to install an electric vehicle charging station in Shoshoni without funding support from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“The federal government is willing to put that money out (to) promote electric vehicles,” he said. “I don’t ever see me buying one, (but) electric vehicles are coming whether I like them or not, probably.”
He noted that the state is using the federal money to install electric vehicle charging stations at 50-mile intervals along main transportation corridors in Wyoming
That effort could take years, he said, while “this here would be immediate.”
Haines said the charging station, if approved, could be in by the end of the summer, if not before.
Highsmith and other council membrs asked whether private businesses would be negatively impacted by a municipal electric vehicle charging station, and Haines said she works with for-profit companies and is planning to contact local businesses about the funding opportunities available to them as well.
The council decided not to take any action on the charging station proposal this week, expressing a desire to learn more about the idea and its potential effects on local businesses.
For more information call the Town of Shoshoni at 876-2515.