HOUSTON - If rising gas prices have you thinking about getting an electric vehicle, you may wonder about where to charge it. There are more than 800 EV charging stations in the Houston metro.
As Texas already has the nation's third-highest number of electric-vehicles in the country, there's a push to find more places to plug-in. A local company is trying a clever approach to put charging-stations where EV drivers are traveling.
Anup Parikh is flipping through photos on his Instagram page: "Here's one at an ALoft Hotel. This is at a Great Clips shopping center."
There's a reason he's collecting pictures of electric vehicles parked around the country, but more on that in a moment.
His company, Pangea Charging, is in the business of installing EV charging stations. Laid off during the pandemic, the business of sustainability was important enough to Parikh that he went into business for himself.
"I want to be part of the solution, and so I found this, with my skillset, was a great way to be involved," he explains.
The challenge is in finding places to install the charging stations. While Tesla, or other companies, can pay to put their chargers wherever they get approval, chargers like Pangea's are purchased by private property owners and developers. Convincing them that's a good expense can be difficult.
"Typically, the objection is, 'There's not a need, yet,' 'We don't have those drivers here,' or 'We don't see those cars, or they may not be our demographic," says Parikh.
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That's where the pictures come in. Pangea's Instagram page is collecting pictures of where people see EV's anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, tagged with the hashtag #EVHunt.
Armed with that information, Parikh plans to pitch the idea that a charging station would be valuable to people in the area.
"Tag the nearest business that you saw it out, and that gives us an opportunity to go to the property owner, and say 'There's literally cars here... can we have the conversation about implementing EV infrastructure?'" he says.
The cost of that infrastructure can be expensive: up to $20,000 for a standard charging station, and many times that for a high-speed station. The pictures are being collected through May 17 with a raffle for three participants to win prizes including Tesla stock.
You can learn more at: https://www.pangeacharging.com