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More electric vehicle charging stations coming to Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE - More people are driving electric vehicles in the capital area, like Glen Dupas, who got his on Thursday.

"I love my Tesla. I can honestly say that," Dupas said.

On Friday, he was at the Perkins Road charging station charging his new ride. He says the main reason he got an electric vehicle was to save money.

With more people like Dupas making the EV switch, infrastructure has to keep up. Downtown Baton Rouge has 10 charging stations, and more are coming.

"We're hoping by early next year to have a completed surface parking lot out there with a number of electric vehicle charging stations," said city-parish spokesman Mark Armstrong.

At the end of 2021, there were about 3,000 electric vehicles in Louisiana, and about 460 of those were in East Baton Rouge Parish. The numbers are higher now, and the city-parish has a ways to go before it meets the goal of the Louisiana Climate Action Plan to have 250 chargers per 100,000 residents. That amounts to 1,125 chargers in the parish by 2050.

"You want to have them along your major corridors, like I-10, I-12, so it's easy to access off of the interstate, and you have a place you can park," Armstrong said.

Some new charging stations are being built now, including one near Albertson's along Airline Highway and Old Hammond Highway.

Charging stations are popping up around apartment complexes, new construction, gas stations and schools.

"I go to Southeastern, and there's chargers on campus, so I just charge there," said EV owner Brady Wilson.

A charge at a "super charger," or Level 3 chargers like the one on Perkins Road, can charge an electric vehicle to 80% full in about 20–30 minutes. The typical power output for a super charger is between 50kW and 350kW.

The charging stations downtown are considered Level 2 chargers and take about eight hours to charge an EV. These chargers are often installed at homes, businesses and public charging stations. The typical power output of a Level 2 is between 7kW and 19kW.

Melvin Corney says charging stations are easy to find, but at peak operating times, there can be a long wait. Stations can be found within the car's mapping system or through an app.

As demand grows, East Baton Rouge Parish is trying to stay ahead of the curve by having conversations with downtown partners and private businesses to bring more EV stations to the parish.

You can read more about the parish's EV plan here.

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