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Drivers of Electric Vehicles Have New Charging Options in Birmingham’s Avondale

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Mark Bentley, left, executive director of Alabama Clean Feuls Coalition and Andre David, Birmingham Parking Authority, Executive Director. (BPA)

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Drivers of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids now have a new charging option in Birmingham’s Avondale business district.

The Birmingham Parking Authority (BPA) held a ribbon-cutting today for a Level 2 EV charging station at its Avondale Village parking lot. The charging station is the result of a partnership between the BPA and the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition (ACFC). It is the first EV charging station for the BPA in any of its parking facilities, and the first charging station ACFC has helped fund in Birmingham.

“This is a wonderful addition to our facilities, and a wonderful service not only for our parking patrons but for anyone in Birmingham who has a need to charge their EV or plug-in,” said Andre Davis, executive director and CEO of the Birmingham Parking Authority. “We recognize that more and more people are driving electric vehicles due to their environmental and fuel-saving benefits, and these drivers need convenient places to charge. What better place to charge your vehicle than a parking facility?”

The Avondale Village parking lot, at 109 41st St. South, is adjacent to Avondale’s popular entertainment district and its restaurants, brewpubs, nightclubs, coffee houses and other businesses. It is also just blocks away from Avondale Park and its ballfields and amphitheater, and near the Avondale branch of the Birmingham Public Library.

The station can charge four vehicles at a time. Users can pay for charging with a credit or debit card.

Funding for the charging station was provided in part by a grant from the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition through its involvement in Alabama Partners for Clean Air. Drive Electric Alabama, a statewide education platform dedicated to improving the state through the adoption of electric vehicles, assisted with planning and promotion.

“Helping grow Alabama’s EV charging infrastructure is a critical part of what we do,” said Mark Bentley, executive director of the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition. “EVs are gaining in popularity here as they are in other parts of the country. More people are becoming comfortable buying electric vehicles and enjoying the many benefits they provide as more charging stations are built. We are delighted to partner with the Birmingham Parking Authority to bring EV chargers to such a popular and convenient location.”

The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham and Alabama Power also assisted with the project. As the ribbon was cut signifying the opening of the charging station, several EVs were being charged, including a Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck provided by Alabama Power and a Chevrolet Bolt from the City of Birmingham’s vehicle fleet.

Birmingham City Councilman Darrell O’Quinn, chairman of the council’s Transportation Committee and whose district includes the Avondale area, said in a statement that the EV charging station is an important step for the city.

“We want to make Birmingham as accommodating as possible for residents, and for visitors and the EV public at large,” O’Quinn said. “Think about it: You can go to a concert at Avondale Brewing just down the street or enjoy a meal at one of our great restaurants – while charging your EV.”

Davis noted that the BPA is the process of developing a Strategic Parking Plan to improve the parking experience in Birmingham, and the EV charging station is one of the new amenities the public can expect.

“We are remaking the Birmingham Parking Authority. We not only intend to make parking easier and more convenient, we also want to help businesses grow and attract more customers, and provide good services for residents of the city. We are thankful to the Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition and our other partners for making this project possible.”