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Electric car charging stations installed at Jewish Community Campus

Last week this Chevy Volt was hooked up to this new charging station at the Jewish Community Campus.

Last week Kansas City Power & Light installed three electric car charging stations at the southwestern edge of the Jewish Community Campus parking lot, just west of the tennis courts. The stations are fully operational.

Milton Brod, president of the board of the Jewish Community Campus, said the Campus began talks with KCP&L several months ago after being asked by some of the Campus agencies to pursue adding the charging stations to the property. Agency representatives mentioned the growing need for the stations and that they would be used by visitors to the Campus and agency employees.

“With the help of Bill Carr, we negotiated a lease with KCP&L,” Brod said.

According to KCP&L spokesman Jeff Beeson, the company installed the stations for free, which it will do through the end of 2016 for all host sites. The host sites are required to pay for the cost of the electricity through the end of 2016, which is two years after the company started its KCP&L Clean Charge Network, at the beginning of 2015. Starting in 2017, the host sites can continue to offer the service for free or consumers can pay at the pump, like they would gasoline.

Each station has two terminals, so two vehicles can charge at a station at the same time, Beeson said. The Campus has what are called Level 2 stations. Most vehicles require as much as four hours to fully charge at these stations, depending on the how much charge is in the battery when charging begins.

“Since we starting installing this network, EV charging has just skyrocketed,” Beeson said. “Kansas City ranked second in the nation based on the percentage increase in the number of electric vehicles sold.”

ChargePoint Inc., based in Campbell, California, manufactures the stations KCP&L uses. It has a network of about 3,900 stations across the country, and its customers can use any of them, Beeson said.

Brod noted that a few individuals, who will remain anonymous, have stepped up to help cover the cost of the charging stations.

Don Goldman, who as executive director of Jewish Family Services is typically at the Campus five days a week, is very excited about the charging stations because he drives an electric car. 

“It shows that the Jewish community is at the forefront of the environmental movement to ensure we take care of the earth and ensure it will be there for our children and grandchildren,” Goldman said.

Jewish Community Center President Ace Allen also owns an electric car and is at the Campus often.

“The J is delighted that the Campus and KCP&L have worked together to install electric vehicle charging stations in the Campus parking lot. This signals our community’s ongoing commitment to making a greener world, and responds to the increasing requests from our patrons and employees to be able to plug in electric vehicles. Kudos to the Campus board and its president, Milton Brod, for their leadership in making this happen,” Allen said.

Beeson of KCP&L noted that there are now about 800 charging stations located throughout the Kansas City metro area, most of which are Level 2. KCP&L plans to install 1,001 stations.