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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey recently announced the launch of the state’s Drive, Electric, Alabama campaign, meant to encourage more people to make the switch to electric vehicles; but as more make the transition, it would increase the need for public chargers to keep cars on-the-go.

Officials with Stovehouse tell News 19 having them creates an opportunity. Not only are they an amenity for customers and tenants that work on-site, but they could bring in more shoppers for a longer span of time.

An electric car takes longer to re-fuel than a typical gas car. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to get a good charge, potentially even longer if a driver forgot to fill the battery at home overnight, so having the stations in a location where someone is already likely to spend an extended amount of time can benefit both patrons and businesses.

A city of Huntsville spokesperson tells me they, too, are working on some public-private partnerships to help get more chargers installed around town.

“Both the public and private sectors are making significant investments in EV technology and infrastructure. For the City of Huntsville, a recent partnership with Tesla will install 12 Superchargers in MidCity next year. Huntsville Utilities is also partnering with the City to install an EV station in the downtown Twickenham garage, and the City’s new Public Transit station will offer multiple charging stations. The City is also in talks with another auto manufacturer to provide more EV stations on public property,” spokesperson Kelly Schrimsher said.

While they’re working to get more chargers to the city through these partnerships, they highly encourage more businesses to consider installing them.

“The real opportunity is for the private marketplace to place EV stations in places where people shop and dine. As drivers charge their cars, they’re more likely to step inside a café, restaurant, grocery store or retail store and have a meal or make a purchase. It’s another way to attract customers and provide a environmentally friendly service,” Schrimsher said.

Jonathan Barnette with Stovehouse agrees. He said their decision was well-worth the installment.

“The city knows that investing in the future is important, so putting in chargers across the city allows for greater opportunities for commerce, retail and tourism,” Barnette said. “I would say every retailer or restaurant ought to have charging capability, just because it’s such a great amenity for our customers.”