DRIGGS, Idaho — An Idaho electric company is slated to install five Level 3 electric car charging stations along two significant scenic byways in the region. Construction is set to begin in spring 2023.
The electric company, Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative (FRREC), aims to contribute to a growing electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging network along major corridors in the intermountain West.
In mid-September, leaders from FRREC joined with state officials from Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to launch the “West Electric Highway” through eight western states, which also include Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
They have dubbed this EV corridor collective “ChargeWest.”
In October, the FRREC board voted to accept $884,942 in grants from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to install the chargers in three different locations across the state.
The chargers will be placed in Ashton, Island Park and Driggs along the Teton Scenic Byway. All three sites are near major highways.
“We see a lot of vacation travelers coming to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and they come through our service territory to get there,” said Clint Washburn, the FRREC’s human resources manager who applied for the grants on behalf of Fall River.
“We have a lot of out-of-state members who own cabins in our territory and the Level 1 chargers they have at those cabins can’t charge enough overnight for them to go to Yellowstone the next day,” said Washburn.
Motorists will be able to charge an EV battery to 80% in about 20 minutes with the fast chargers. Drivers will pay a per-minute price to plug in to the Fall River REC chargers, which should be in place by the end of next summer.