Kansas City Metro: Highest Growth Rate For EV Adoption In The U.S. For Q1 2017

JUL 21 2017 BY MARK KANE 25

For the second consecutive quarter, Kansas City is experiencing fastest growth of electric car sales in according to IHS Automotive data and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI),

Kansas City KCP&L Clean Charge Network

After more than a 60% gain in Q4 of 2016, KC Metro set the bar even higher this year, logging 78% growth year-over-year.

One the reasons that has transformed Kansas City into a hot spot for electric vehicles is a new and deep charging network – KCP&L Clean Charge Network  (see announcement from two years ago about 1,000 charging points here).

The network was built by Kansas City Power & Light Company, and now is not only one of the nation’s largest, but was first project of this scale implemented by a public utility.

“Nearly 95 percent of the planned 1,000 public charging stations have been installed throughout the Kansas City metro area, with more deployed every day. The network has offered free charging to EV drivers since its debut.”

“Since deployment of the KCP&L Clean Charge Network began in 2015, the metropolitan area has experienced a 95 percent increase in electric vehicle adoption. In addition, Kansas City was awarded number one in driver and charging station growth by ChargePoint, a manufacturer of EV charging stations, in 2016.”

Kansas City KCP&L Clean Charge Network

Chuck Caisley, KCP&L’s vice president for marketing and public affairs said:

“The Clean Charge Network provided the necessary charging infrastructure for drivers, but also made Kansas City the gold standard for electric transportation. Kansas City has built a reputation as an innovative and sustainable place to live, and we’re proud to contribute to that success.”

More about correlation between charging and EV sales:

Increasing Awareness and Overcoming Range Anxiety

A study from the National Academy of Sciences listed a lack of awareness and range anxiety — or the fear of running out of charge — as typical barriers to electric vehicle adoption. The KCP&L Clean Charge Network has set out to overcome them.

“With the sheer number of charging stations — strategically located where people live, work and play — KCP&L’s Clean Charge Network eliminated range anxiety in the Kansas City region. The idea is to allow people to charge their cars as they do their cell phones, plugging in as they go about their daily lives,” said Caisley.

The Clean Charge Network is part of KCP&L’s vision for a more sustainable future and enhanced energy innovation in the region, helping to attract companies and talent. Increased adoption of electric cars also has environmental benefits, reducing carbon emissions to help the region attain EPA regional ozone standards.

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25 Comments on "Kansas City Metro: Highest Growth Rate For EV Adoption In The U.S. For Q1 2017"

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I had no idea. I would love to see more public utilities following suit with projects like this.
What led them to be able to do it, when others don’t?

Meanwhile, 180 miles north in Des Moines, we barely have any L2 charging infra. And last I checked, ZERO QC except for the newly installed Tesla superchargers. In the entire state.

Sigh.

That’s surprising since Iowa produces about 40% of it’s electricity from wind.
I wish the article said how many vehicles instead of only percentage increase.

Not surprising, Iowa is rural, Kansas City is metro. That’s where most EVs on the market today are cut out for: metro suburban areas, not Midwest cornfields.

I politely disagree on at least one level and agree on another. 1. Agree. Small towns haven’t even accepted ‘foreign’ cars. Most Japanese and German brands never established dealerships in small town America because their dealership network was built mostly starting in the 70s then 80s and small town USA was already on the decline. But EVERY small town had big 3 dealers there. Many closed after 2009 but still most towns with more than a couple thousand people have a Chevy dealer. Big issue to break through there. 2. Disagree. From a miles perspective you have two groups of people. I will use Des Moines as an example. If you live in Dex Moines you never go anywhere out of the city and the city is small so in fact short range EVs are absolutely perfect. Additionally the home ownership rates are extremely high and even apartment dwellers have more space than say San Francisco and typically outdoor electrical hookups in a garage. Sioux Falls SD for instance is 10 miles wide at most total. You couldn’t drive 50 miles in a day if you tried. When people DO leave the city, it is on a destination trip such… Read more »

“I wish the article said how many vehicles instead of only percentage increase.”

In absolute numbers, it wouldn’t look nearly so impressive. The population of Greater Kansas City is only about 2.3 million. (Compare to the L.A. area, at about 19 million.)

You can help change that, you know. Have you installed an EVSE at your residence and offered it for use on PlugShare? Have you asked your favorite restaurant(s) to install one out front?

PlugShare shows quite an impressive infrastructure in KC. Kudos for getting this off the ground.

Wow, I just looked at Plugshare and you’re right, that’s impressive. Reminds me a lot of Atlanta, my hometown. Outside of California you don’t see coverage like that in many places.

Kansas produced 1900 thousand MWH of renewable energy for April 2017 compared to 1000 thousand MWH from coal and natural gas. Also another 900 thousand MWH came from nuclear so the EV are getting a lot of the electricity from non fossil fuels. Storage batteries, solar and more wind will be able to improve this even more but for a state like Kansas that’s great.

Please note the major metro area of Kansas City is in Missouri: Kansas City, Missouri. There is also a K.C., Kansas (where I live), which likes to puff itself up by calling the two Kansas Cities “twin cities”, but it’s really just a suburb. The two cities are “twins” about like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito in “Twins”. 😉

For example, the one and only Tesla store in the area is on the Missouri side.

Kansas does, fortunately, have a nuclear power plant, only about 90 miles from where I live; so no air pollution or CO2 emissions from that power plant! I wish they would build a lot more of those and shut down the coal-fired power plants.

lol to the Twins movie reference! As someone who lives on the MO side, it’s always a bit frustrating when folks assume KC = Kansas = cornfields. Granted, the city’s name is confusing, and there *are* plenty of cornfields around, but the Missouri side isn’t all that flat at all. KS has quite a bit to do, but it does admittedly have a more industrial feel to it.

Kansas City, KS isn’t at all flat, either. In fact, there are road signs in our neighborhood warning “HILL BLOCKS VIEW”. (I guess they think they need to remind us we don’t have X-ray vision, like Superman does?!? 😕 )

In fact, it’s only the western 2/3 of Kansas which is “flat as a tabletop”. Much of the eastern third is rather hilly.

Well the Advanced Nuclear Plants that Toshiba was building in Georgia Vogel 2 Units already caused Westinghouse to go bankrupt. Stone and Webster in deep trouble. Toshiba to pay 7 billion in cost over runs and Toshiba may still go bankrupt and the units still have serval years to go before completion. If Toshiba goes bankrupt then the rate payers will be holding the bag. The money that was spent could have be used to build at least three time more energy and storage with wind solar and batteries. Nuclear is dead

Yeah, nuclear is dead. They never could get the costs down. That’s without even going into the safety issues or what to do with the waste.

I suppose an argument can be made that nuclear is better than coal, but it’s moot because neither one is going to be the future. The next century is going to be about dirt cheap renewables displacing all fossil fuels.

In the end what may save us is technological innovation making it cheaper to go clean and green than to stick with older polluting technologies. 19th and 20th century innovations can’t compete with 21st century tech.

Before declaring it dead, you may want to look at worldwide construction stats. 60 GW of power under construction at this time, 1/3 of which is in China.

https://www.nei.org/Knowledge-Center/Nuclear-Statistics/World-Statistics/Nuclear-Units-Under-Construction-Worldwide

Wind and solar power will remain limited to auxiliary power until someone invents an electrical energy storage system which can be scaled up cheaply. In the meantime, nuclear power plants are the only reliable, dependable, 24/7 source of clean electricity, and despite the rabid hysteria over “RADIATION!!” from the news media, it is the safest form of electricity generation; even safer than hydroelectric, if you consider number of people killed compared to kWh of energy produced.

The “no more nukes” movement has unfortunately been rather successful in using regulations to drive up the cost of new nuclear power plants to the point that they are too expensive for new ones using traditional designs to be profitable, in all too many countries including the USA.

Fortunately, there are still companies ignoring the myopic and self-defeating efforts to shut down clean nuclear power plants in favor of more energy from pollution generating power plants; companies which, thankfully, are moving ahead with a new generation of truly fail-safe designs.

I think NuScale’s small modular reactor design looks promising, and does indeed look truly fail-safe:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuScale_Power

Jimmy Carter should be ashamed of himself. He knew Three Mile Island didn’t hurt anyone and there was a trivial amount of radiation released. He was a submarine officer with a physics degree and he knew the science and he still capitulated to ignorant fear. Are there dangers? Yes. Fire is dangerous too. Fewer people have been killed in nuclear reactor incidents all combined than die in coal mines in China by April each year.

WOW! Never thought I’d see my home city the subject of an InsideEVs article!

We have arrived!
🙂 🙂 🙂

Up Kansas City!

Same here! As someone who lives in the KC area, this gives me some extra peace of mind for my Model 3 reservation. Especially since the existing KC supercharger is way out in Independence. (Not near me at all.) Not a big deal tho as I expect home charging will satisfy 95% of my commuting needs.

On a related note, KC is slated to get another supercharger installation by the end of 2017, this according to Tesla’s website. Exact timing and location still TBD, of course. I’m betting it will be more centrally located and targeted towards apartment dwellers, but who knows! Once Model 3 hits I doubt the 6 stall Independence supercharger will suffice for road trippers.

Well, if the existing Supercharger station is out in Independence, on the East side of the metro area, then perhaps the 2nd Supercharger will be on the west side. Who knows? Possibly out near me, close to the Kansas Speedway! 🙂

When you have an ultra low base, it is easy to get “high growth rate”…

Percentage increase is meaningless without a base number. If last year they had one EV and this year they have 2 it would be a 100% increase. Perfect example of how to fool the masses.

95% of the 1000 planned stations. That is a lot even talking % change!

I sure wish Wichita was as progressive as KC in bringing E cars. 1 tesla super charger and 3 chargers at Westar Energy downtown. Not another single standalone charger in the entire county.