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MidAmerican Energy promotes electric vehicle use in Iowa

A MidAmerican Energy #x201c;green#x201d; service truck. (Courtesy MidAmerican Energy)
A MidAmerican Energy “green” service truck. (Courtesy MidAmerican Energy)

DES MOINES — Officials with MidAmerican Energy said Thursday they are seeking to “significantly expand” the company’s network of electric vehicle direct-current fast-charging sites the utility is developing in Iowa.

MidAmerican is targeting the Des Moines metro area, but company officials said they also are seeking host sites for EV charging facilities in other Iowa locations.

Those include Iowa City as well as Adel, Ankeny, Bettendorf, Charles City, Colfax, Correctionville, Council Bluffs, Cumming, Davenport, Grimes, Johnston, Latimer, Le Claire, Le Mars, Missouri Valley, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Sioux City, St. Charles, Urbandale, Waukee and West Des Moines.

The company aims to increase its developing EV fast-charging network from 18 sites by the end of the year and hopes to be at 50 by the end of 2022, according to a MidAmerican news release.

“This next phase takes MidAmerican customers and our state to the next level,” said Andrew Lewis, MidAmerican’s electric vehicle infrastructure program manager.

“When we first launched our EV fast-charging network plan last year, our goal was to help address range anxiety by building charging stations within about 50 miles of each other and along major corridors.”

MidAmerican will pursue agreements with 32 additional site hosts in targeted cities, with more than half in the Des Moines area.

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The company is accepting applications from businesses and community entities in those cities and will select at least one host in each city.

In some cities, such as Des Moines, MidAmerican could partner with several hosts, according to the company.

Through these agreements, MidAmerican will purchase and own the charging stations. Los Angeles-based Greenlots will install and maintain them and provide payment systems at host locations.

Site hosts set their own usage fees, consistent with state laws and regulations.

The company plans to add seven “50 kW DC fast-charging stations and 25 150 kW DC ultra-fast charging stations,” with two chargers per station, according to the release.

Fast chargers generally can provide an electric vehicle with an 80 percent charge in less than 40 minutes. Ultra-fast chargers can provide the same charge in half the time, depending on certain factors.

Site host applications are available at MidAmericanEnergy.com/ev. The application deadline is Oct. 30.

According to the company, MidAmerican launched fast-charging stations in Altoona, Clarinda, Emmetsburg, Fort Dodge, Sheldon and Waterloo, and a site is under construction in Oskaloosa.

The company opened ultra-fast chargers in Avoca, Davenport, De Soto, Early, Fort Dodge and Waterloo. Three more sites are in development, including locations in Sioux City, Ankeny and Iowa City.

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Drivers can locate the nearest charger, check their charging status and pay from their phone through the Greenlots mobile app.

To further promote EV adoption in Iowa, MidAmerican offers its customers electric vehicle and charging station rebates of $500 to its residential customers who buy or lease a new electric vehicle.

The company also offers $1,500 rebates to its business customers that purchase “level 2” charging stations, which generally charge vehicles in four to eight hours.

Headquartered in Des Moines, MidAmerican Energy has more than 791,000 electric customers in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota, and 771,000 natural gas customers in those states as well as in Nebraska.

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