Entergy Arkansas, the state’s largest electric utility with about 730,000 customers, is moving forward with its entry into the roadside charging business.
Last year, the Arkansas Public Service Commission approved Entergy Arkansas’ plan to build 12 charging stations along Interstates 30 and 40. The chargers will range in price from $600,000-$700,000 each.
“Initially, we planned to partner with Walmart on three of those locations,” Kacee Kirschvink, communications manager at Entergy Arkansas, said via email to Arkansas Business. But Walmart has since “determined that it wanted to go in another direction, and we are now working to secure alternate locations for those three public charging facilities,” she said.
The stations are still in planning while the utility looks for a partner to locate, design and build them, Kirschvink said.
“We still believe these chargers are an important step in supporting, sustaining and growing a healthy electric vehicle market in the state,” she said. Improving “public EV charging infrastructure in Arkansas will enhance economic development and tourism by increasing the number of stations available along the interstate corridors and in other locations throughout our service territory,” Kirschvink said.
The Arkansas Energy Office has awarded a $350,000 grant from the DCFC Financial Assistance Program to offset the costs of one of the public charging stations. “These grants are also being made available to government entities like school districts to help electrify their fleets,” she said.
In addition to those efforts to add charging stations, Entergy Arkansas and Adopt a Charger in early 2021 announced a partnership to install EV charging stations. By the end of the month, Adopt a Charger will have 54 charging stations throughout Arkansas.