Electric Vehicle Charging Station (Source: Today’s Power)

by Tyler Hale

Camden is charging into the future of electric vehicles.

Ouachita Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power Inc. partnered to add the new Level-2 electric vehicle charging station at the new MainStay Suites, a 35-room and 25-suite hotel, in Camden. The new charging station will service electric vehicles of all makes and models.

The charging station will be free to the general public and hotel patrons for the next year.

“We wanted to encourage more use of electric vehicles.  Getting infrastructure in place is critical to expanded use of EVs,” Mark Cayce General Manager of Ouachita Electric Cooperative, said in a statement.

According to Cayce, the hotel’s strategic location near a highway intersection made it ideal for the charging station’s location. Ouachita Electric worked with hotel leadership and Today’s Power, which provided the EV charging infrastructure, to install the station.

Today’s Power Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Jennah Denney points to the new electric charging station as a win for the Camden economy. “It makes people stay in Camden and spend some time here, finding out what this city has to offer,” she says.

This Level-2 charging station will allow for two vehicles to be charged simultaneously. There are three levels of electric car chargers. The Camden charging station is a Level-2 charger, which operate at a voltage between 208V and 240V, according to ChargeHub.com. These devices can charge vehicles quicker than Level-1 charging stations, which only use 120V power connections. A Level-3 charging station uses even higher voltage and can reportedly add 90 miles of range in only 30 minutes, according to ClipperCreek.com.

Already, many municipalities throughout Arkansas offer electric vehicle charging stations, with some of the stations providing free service. Little Rock has the highest number of electric charging stations in the state with 120 within a 15km radius, according to ChargeHub.com. Of that total, 40 stations are free. There are 93 Level-2 chargers and 27 Level-3 chargers.

ChargeHub.com reports that there are 105 charging hubs in a 15km radius of North Little Rock. There may be overlap between the Little Rock and North Little Rock charging stations. There are 36 free stations of the 105 total stations, with 89 being Level-2 and 16 being Level-3.

The municipality with the third highest number of electric chargers is Bentonville, which has a total of 36. There are eight free stations, and 23 stations are Level-2 and 13 are Level-3.