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Range Anxiety No Longer: Electric Vehicle Charging Network Coming to Iowa

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- MidAmerican Energy estimates that more than half of new car sales in the United States will be electric vehicles within the next six years.

While the desire to go “gas free” is all the rage, many Iowans are hesitant to make the switch. One of the main reasons is due to range anxiety. It's described as that worry, or fear of running out of charge before you reach your destination or a charging site. Now thanks to Midamerican Energy, that will soon no longer be a problem in Iowa.

“It is a very uncomfortable feeling knowing that you could be stuck on the interstate,” State Representative (D) John Forbes said.

Forbes owns an electric vehicle and says he's experienced that range anxiety first hand.

“Last year I had a meeting in Iowa City and I drove my electric car there,” Forbes said. "Coming back home I got that range anxiety feeling, and I know what it feels like because as I got closer and closer to Des Moines I thought I may run out of charge.”

But by the end of this year Forbes, and every other Iowan who drives an electric car will be able to charge up in Iowa City and 14 other towns across the state with MidAmerian’s fast-charging station network.

“The electric vehicles, and increasing the adoption of that, can really be a little bit of a chicken and the egg kind of thing,” MidAmerican Energy’s Director of Communications Tina Hoffman said. “People are a little bit cautious about investing in an electric vehicle if they don't think they can get to the next charging station or get to their destination.”

MidAmerican Energy is stepping in to help. Their $3.75 million network will feature “level three” chargers that can fully charge a vehicle in as little as 20-45 minutes.

“With those charges spread across the state, we really hope to jumpstart electric vehicle usage in [Iowa],” Hoffman said. Helping make Iowa a greener place to live.

“Just as different states look to build out their infrastructure, a charging infrastructure, especially these fast charges, is really important to that,” Hoffman said.

“MidAmerican has always been a very friendly renewable energy group here in the state of Iowa and I’m very proud of that,” Forbes said. “This is just another step they are using to promote clean energy here in the state of Iowa and reducing the amount of carbon that is put into the atmosphere.”

In addition to this charging network, MidAmerican Energy is also offering a $500 rebate to customers who buy or lease an electric vehicle. They are also offering a $1,500 rebate for any business that wants to purchase a “level two” charger. That can charge a vehicle in about eight hours.

This fast-charging network and rebate program comes after an additional registration fee for electric vehicles was passed this past legislative session.

Information on rebates, and how to apply to host one of the charging facilities, is available at MidAmericanEnergy.com.

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