LA VISTA, Neb. (KMTV) — Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in Nebraska and more charging stations are needed. OPPD is taking steps to keep up with that demand.
On Friday, OPPD and La Vista celebrated their newest installment of electric charging stations located in Cabela's parking lot just west of Giles Road.
OPPD President and CEO, Javier Fernandez, believes electric vehicles are the future and wants to be part of building the path there.
"We want to make sure we’re building infrastructure that will serve not only the current needs, but the future needs," Fernandez said. "And as the city continues to grow we're serving more and more customers.”
The stations are funded in part by a $572,000 grant from Nebraska’s Department of Environment and Energy.
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in the state according to the department.
Just seven years ago, there were only 190 electric vehicles registered in Nebraska. Today that number has grown more than 12 times over, with 2,527 electric vehicles at the end of 2021.
Jerry McNerney with the Teslas Owners Club of Nebraska, a nonprofit that promotes a move to sustainable electric transportation, said has noticed the growth in popularity.
“Where you used to see a couple vehicles every couple of weeks, you probably see 10-20 Teslas a day now," McNerney said.
More electric vehicles means more charging stations.
OPPD has installed five of these stations in Nebraska.They contain level 2 and level 3 chargers, that can fully charge a battery in 30 minutes.
“You can come in, start charging your vehicle, go in and do a little bit of shopping, come back and your entire battery could be fully charged," Fernandez said.
Locations for these charges can be found throughout the OPPD coverage area:
- Casey’s General Store 210 E 6th St., North Bend
- Casey’s General Store 1059 Washington St., Blair
- Casey’s General Store 946 11th St., Syracuse
- Parking lot under Interstate 480 at 17th & Cass St., Omaha
- Cabela's Parking lot 12703 Westport Pkwy, La Vista
In 2019, OPPD installed four other level 2 charging stations in Omaha. These take about two to four hours for a full charge.
OPPD says they are trying to grow the infrastructure alongside the growing demand for electric vehicles. They also offer a rebate program to help drivers charge their vehicles at home.