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Casey’s, Hy-Vee Add EV Charging in Iowa

Retailers partner with local utility on fast-charging stations
Photograph: Shutterstock

DES MOINES, Iowa Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are going in at Casey’s General Stores and Hy-Vee sites in Iowa thanks to a partnership with a large Midwest utility.

In July, MidAmerican Energy Co. announced plans to build a public DC fast-charging station network throughout Iowa. After reviewing applications from businesses and community groups, the utility has since made its selections and will begin construction on the fast-charging stations in five Iowa cities by the end of 2019. It will add another 13 in 2020, including almost a dozen ultrafast charging stations. All 18 charging stations will be within MidAmerican Energy’s service territory, with most located near the Interstate 80, Interstate 29 and Highway 20 corridors. It picked locations that were about 50 miles from each other to address any range-anxiety concerns among EV drivers. 

Casey’s General Stores Inc., Ankeny, Iowa, is getting 50-kW fast-charging stations at its stores in Clarinda and Emmetsburg, with construction beginning in 2019, and ultrafast 160-kW charging stations in Avoca and Early in 2020. The chain also has EV charging stations from Electrify America at some locations.

A 50-kW fast-charging station is being installed at Hy-Vee Inc.’s Fort Dodge, Iowa, site in 2019 and at its Altoona Fast and Fresh in 2020. Hy-Vee is also getting an ultrafast charging station at its Waterloo store in 2020. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based supermarket chain also has charging stations as part of ChargePoint and Tesla’s Supercharger networks.

Tech Details

Los Angeles-based Greenlots, a business division of Royal Dutch Shell, will install the charging stations and provide the payment systems. MidAmerican Energy will establish and maintain the charging stations. The sites’ hosts will operate the charging stations and determine the usage fee, setting it per state laws and regulations. Users can pay through a payment card or the Greenlots app.

The DC fast chargers have two plugs per station and can supply about an 80% charge in less than 40 minutes. The ultrafast chargers can deliver the same charge in about half that time. The latter are concentrated around the heavily traveled corridors of Avoca, Davenport, Early, Fort Dodge and Waterloo. MidAmerican Energy is finalizing plans for six more sites, including two near Des Moines.

“MidAmerican Energy is now breaking ground on a first-of-its-kind electric vehicle charging network in Iowa,” said Andrew Lewis, lead engineer for MidAmerican Energy, Des Moines, Iowa. “This network will benefit our customers, host communities, travelers and the environment.”

MidAmerican Energy is also offering $1,500 rebates to businesses that purchase Level 2 charging stations, which can charge an EV in about four to eight hours.

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