August 16, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
By later this year, electric and hybrid vehicles could be charged in Albany.
Albany Chrysler Center, Inc., in Albany is preparing for the future of electric vehicles with a public electric vehicle charging station. They purchased two EV charging units, installed late July just west of Albany Chrysler Center. They are working with Xcel Energy and JT Electric, in Albany, on this project.
Each unit has two charging ports that connect to an electric or hybrid vehicle. Individuals will be able to drive up to the EV charging station and use a port, similar to a gas pump at a gas station.
“We can have four vehicles charging at one time,” said Amy Silvers, Albany Chrysler Center vice president.
She said the push for electrification comes from Stellantis, a global automaker, encouraging all of their Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealers to purchase charging units for their customers.
“And we decided to move in that direction,” she said.
Since late 2020, Albany Chrysler Center employees have received training on electric vehicles and charging stations.
There are different levels with EV charging units, from Level 1 home charging to Level 3 fast charging, which determine how fast the charge takes. The units installed in Albany are Level 3.
“People can come in with their battery at 10 percent and, in 30 to 40 minutes, they are back up and running with a full charge,” Silvers said.
A Level 2 unit takes up to four hours to recharge, and a home charging unit can take up to 10 hours.
Collin Power, Albany Chrysler sales manager, said the charging station will be networked, so individuals who have electric or hybrid vehicles can check on an app on their phone if there is an open charging port at the station.
Albany Chrysler Center is working on the project in phases. They are currently waiting for their new transformer to arrive.
“Once it arrives, we can install it and the new power pole, and then we are operational,” Silvers said.
Powers and Silvers agree Albany is a good location for the EV charging station, with the closest stations in St. Cloud and Alexandria.
“There are so many unknowns when it comes to electrification. It is still so new to all of us. Regardless, we are ready for it,” Silvers said. “We’ve very anxious to see what happens.”