Arkansas Sierra Club and the city of Fayetteville hosted a Drive Electric Week event in downtown Fayetteville on Friday (Sept. 15). The event focused on the benefits of electric vehicles and the need for infrastructure to support them.
“Cities like Fayetteville are leading the way on clean energy in Arkansas, and support for electric vehicles is a big part of that,” said Glen Hooks, director of the Arkansas Sierra Club. “Prioritizing infrastructure like charging stations will make it easier for Northwest Arkansas to invest in EVs and keep our air quality high.”
The city of Fayetteville has installed electric vehicle charging stations and uses electric vehicles in its fleets, Mayor Lioneld Jordan said.
“Fayetteville is a state leader in energy efficiency and clean energy,” Jordan said. “More electric vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles mean cleaner air for Fayetteville and better public health outcomes for our citizens.”
Fayetteville-based Ozarks Electric Cooperative was the first member-owned electric utility in the state to install a 1 megawatt community solar facility, said Mitchell Johnson, president and CEO for Ozarks Electric.
“This has given our members another option in purchasing renewable power through their local electric cooperative,” Johnson said.
Electric vehicle owner Terry Tremwel explained the lack of public places in which to charge electric vehicles across the nation. “While 95% of EV charging happens at home, intercity and interstate travel is facilitated by public charging,” Tremwel said. “California provides a model, and Tesla has proprietary Supercharging nearly nationwide, including in Little Rock, Texarkana and soon in Russellville. If you want to reduce pollution, while still having full transportation options, encourage electric evehicles and renewalble energy (like solar PV) through state and local policies and ordiancnes.”
Sierra Club, Plug In America and the Electric Auto Association are the national team supporting the Drive Electric Week events nationwide.