The pair reached out to the public looking for feedback on where the charging stations should be added — and most agreed on two locations: the 700 block of Texas Street and the 400 block of Edwards Street.
But now that a year has passed, are electric charging stations still coming to downtown Shreveport?
According to SWEPO — not yet.
“During that time we’ve seen several manufactures come out with electric vehicles and the technology continues to change so a lot of our focus has really changed now to make sure that I-20 and I-49 become certified E-V corridors with charging stations along the route,”External Affairs Manager Michael Corbin said.
Corbin says over the past year they’ve learned the downtown area isn’t a high priority for those who own electric cars.
“The charging situation really needs to be more where they can have charging at home,” he said. “They may want charging at a company parking garage if they are driving a fleet vehicle, and they are certainly concerned about being able to go from here to Baton Rouge or here to Monroe and have a charging station along the way.”
Corbin says SWEPCO is working to make Interstate 49 and Interstate 20 certified corridors meaning they would have to have charging stations available every 50 miles along both interstates.
SWEPCO is also talking to places that are open for 24 hours, and that are also safe, secure and offer services to travelers. They’ve been considering putting charging stations up at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City.
However, Corbin says the downtown area is a location they hope to add charging stations to as well as others in the next year.
So far though, most Shreveport residents are still in favor of having more electric charging stations within the city.
“I think there’s a lot of benefits from it,” Brock Vierdag said. “I think there’s thins that could help the atmosphere from it.”
“It’s a cheaper alternative,” Paul Lewis said. “I mean we got plenty of buildings around that could be torn down and put, (so) we could put one up.”
“It’s good for the environment, and we really need that right,” Megan Whitaker said.
Corbin says SWEPCO has worked with SporTran to help add electric buses to their fleet. SWEPCO was also able to help them get a new fast charging unit at their new bus terminal thanks to funds from a Volkswagen Diesel Settlement.
He says they’ve also been in talks with local school districts to help them add electric school buses to their fleets too.