BrightRidge, Johnson City unveil first publicly available Level 3 EV Charger


Fast charger ribbon cutting ceremony

JOHNSON CITY — BrightRidge, the City of Johnson City, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation celebrated an important milestone for electric vehicle adoption in the region with a Thursday morning ribbon-cutting of the first public Level 3 EV fast charger in Johnson City and Washington County.

Located in the Cherry Street Parking Lot at the corner of South Roan Street and State of Franklin Road, the charging station marks a new era of convenient fast charging for EV drivers in Johnson City and those traveling through on Interstate 26 nearby.

“This public Level 3 charging station and the state-supported network along our major interstates is a huge step in making electric vehicle ownership possible,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “By providing quick recharging for those on longer trips, this infrastructure chips away at electric vehicle range anxiety, a very real barrier to EV adoption.”

Last year, TDEC and the Tennessee Valley Authority announced a $20 million Fast Charge TN Network to add about 40 new fast charging stations to fill charging station gaps on Tennessee interstates and highways. Fast Charge TN is working to ensure a fast-charging station is available at least every 50 miles along Tennessee’s interstates.

The charging station grant project was made possible through a cooperative effort between BrightRidge, the City of Johnson City, TDEC and Seven States Power Corporation, which provided grant writing and technical assistance.

TDEC awarded BrightRidge a $350,000 grant from its Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust, through which the State is supporting the Fast Charge TN Network. BrightRidge also contributed a 20% project matching grant.

“Tennessee’s air is cleaner as measured by federal air quality standards than it has been in generations, and a clean environment helps drive economic development,” TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young said. “TDEC is partnering with TVA and BrightRidge on the development of this station to continue Tennessee’s environmental and economic momentum while further entrenching our state as the epicenter of the electric vehicle transition.”

 The new charging station hosts two leading-edge ChargePoint Level 3 chargers. According to the US Department of Transportation, Level 3 chargers, also known as Direct Current Fast Chargers, can charge a Battery Electric Vehicle to 80 percent in just 20 minutes to one hour depending on the vehicle car manufacturer and model. Stated in terms of mileage, DC Fast Charging can provide between 180 – 240 miles of range per hour.

Designated EV-charging parking spaces denote the station and are clearly marked with signage and white “EV” symbols to identify them. The chargers will cost .42 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) delivered.

“This new infrastructure is designed to encourage more residents and visitors to consider electric vehicles as a viable option,” Dykes said. “Based on what we have seen to date, electric vehicle market share will only continue to grow over time.”

BrightRidge operates six Level 2 charging stations, two at its Boones Creek Road corporate office, which are free for customer use, as well as two fee units in downtown Johnson City and two in downtown Jonesborough. BrightRidge also assisted East Tennessee State University with 10 Level 2 installations on its campus and the Gray Fossil Site.

Depending on vehicle model and manufacturer, Level 2 chargers can provide 10-20 miles of range per hour of charging and provide an opportunity to top off a BEV while the owner is at school, shopping or visiting a major regional tourist attraction.

About BrightRidge

BrightRidge is a publicly owned electric utility serving 83,671 customers in Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties. It is the 10th largest local power company in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area. BrightRidge Broadband, a division of BrightRidge, offers nation-leading 10GB symmetrical fiber-to-the-premise services to more than 30,000 locations in its service area.