BPA partnered with Alabama Power, the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, the Alabama Partners for Clean Air and Drive Electric Alabama to execute the project.
Birmingham’s historic Avondale neighborhood is abuzz with vibrant restaurants, taverns and breweries, a popular park, and historic homes being revitalized along with new residential developments.
And now, those driving the latest in transportation technology – electric vehicles (EVs) – have a place to charge up while enjoying all the neighborhood has to offer.
Earlier this week the Birmingham Parking Authority hosted a ribbon-cutting for a new, Level 2 EV charging station, just installed in the public parking lot in the 100 block of 41st Street South.
The station can charge up to four vehicles at a time and is the first at any BPA facility. Users can pay for charging with a credit or debit card.
The authority partnered with the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Drive Electric Alabama, Alabama Partners for Clean Air, the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, and Alabama Power to add the chargers.
“We believe this is an ideal location,” BPA Executive Director and CEO André Davis said. “Getting in and out of this parking lot is easy and it is adjacent to the Avondale business district and just blocks away from Avondale Park and the Avondale branch of the Birmingham Public Library.
“Patrons will also be able to charge their electric vehicle while they visit one of the several nearby popular restaurants or coffee houses, attend a concert just down the street at Avondale Brewing or go to an outing at the park or library. This charging station is an amenity we think the public will appreciate.”
About 40 community leaders and individuals took part in the ribbon-cutting, including BPA Board Member Tony Porter, Clean Fuels Coalition Executive Director Mark Bentley and Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn’s chief of staff, Myeisha Hutchinson.
A crowd gathers in front of Avondale’s latest addition: an EV charging station. (Joey Blackwell / Alabama News Center)
Christina Argo, Strategic Projects and Innovation Division manager at the Birmingham Department of Transportation, echoed Davis’ sentiment that the new charging station is in a prime place to serve the Avondale community.
“In the next six to nine months, we’re going to be breaking ground on a Complete Streets project,” Argo said. “So, this charging station couldn’t be in a better location. This street is going to be transformed into a place where it’s a little bit safer for folks to walk. It’s going to be well-lit; it’s going to have great on-street parking and … now we’ve got our EV station right here along that beautiful new street. So, stay tuned for that work.”
Over the past several years, EV use has surged in Alabama. Estimates indicate that more than 9,000 EVs are now registered in the state – a remarkable rise of 60% from 2020-21. Charging stations, too, are being added rapidly across Alabama.
“Electric vehicles are growing in popularity. They’re growing in the adoption rate – not only in our state but throughout our country,” said Hasin Gandhakwala, Electric Transportation manager at Alabama Power. “These vehicles do a tremendous amount for the communities that they’re in, but also economics as a whole. They create workforce opportunities, they create economic growth, and the adoption is good for almost all drivers.”
Alabama Power offers its customers who drive EVs incentives for overnight home-charging and a rebate for charger installation. To learn more, click here. To learn more about electric vehicle
To learn more about important developments related to EVs and electric transportation in Alabama and to receive updates, visit driveelectricalabama.com.
The charging station can charge up to four vehicles at the same time. (Joey Blackwell / Alabama News Center)
Alabama Power brought one of its Ford Lightning fleet vehicles to demonstrate the electric charger in action. (Joey Blackwell / Alabama News Center)
Alabama Power Electric Transportation Manager Hasin Gandhakwala addresses the crowd. (Joey Blackwell / Alabama News Center)
Birmingham Parking Authority CEO André Davis speaks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Joey Blackwell / Alabama News Center)