Electrical Connection contractors create turnkey service to expand region’s EV charging stations


IBEW/NECA partnership launches initiative with donation to St. Charles County EDC

CHARGING STATION DONATION: The Electrical Connection kicked off an initiative to expand the region’s EV charging stations by donating a charging station to the St. Charles County Economic Development Council (EDC). Celebrating the effort are (left to right) Scott Drachnik, St. Charles County EDC president and CEO; Jim Curran, Electrical Connection executive vice president; Kevin Bresnahan, RJP Electric project manager; Scott Nesbitt, RJP electrician and IBEW Local I member; and Randy Bowers, RJP Electric operations manager. – Compass Communications photo

Responding to a critical need to expand the region’s network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, Electrical Connection contractors are launching a turnkey service to fortify the region’s EV infrastructure.

The initiative is designed to optimize Ameren Missouri Charge Ahead incentives to encourage businesses and civic entities to install charging stations. The Electrical Connection kicked off the initiative by donating an EV charging station, including installation, to the St. Charles County Economic Development Council (EDC).

The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

“Our IBEW and NECA leadership saw this day coming more than 10 years ago and invested in ramping up EV charging station training while helping pioneer the standards needed to ensure reliable installations,” said Jim Curran, Electrical Connection executive vice president.

According to the Edison Electric Institute, the United States now has more than 1.5 million electric vehicles. By 2030, that number is expected to grow to 18.7 million. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020 reported that “by 2025, EVs will hit 10 percent of global passenger vehicle sales, rising to 28 percent in 2030 and 58 percent in 2040.”

“Clearly, we are in a new era for the automobile industry and need to support the driving public’s growing demand for electric vehicles,” said Scott Drachnik, St. Charles County EDC president and CEO. “The Electrical Connection has been a great partner and an essential resource to fortify our EV infrastructure and address all disruptive technologies that shape our future.”

Electrical Connection contractors have been thoroughly briefed on Ameren incentives. It also partnered with Ameren Missouri in a St. Charles County EDC-hosted webinar on Nov. 16, 2020 to educate business and civic leadership on the incentives and installation requirements to expand EV infrastructure.

“Our contractors will facilitate the needed expansion of EV charging stations by being a one-stop-shop for incentive applications, site planning, engineering, acquiring and installing charging stations,” said Doug Martin, St. Louis NECA executive vice president. “We applaud Ameren for initiating the incentives to expand the network of EV charging stations.”

Ameren Missouri began offering its new incentives this year to business customers through the Charge Ahead program. They include up to a $5,000 rebate for Level 2 charging stations, which deliver 25 miles of distance for every hour charged. More robust DC fast chargers can charge an EV battery up to 80 percent capacity in 30 to 45 minutes and include up to $20,000 in rebates from Ameren.

“We estimate both programs will allow businesses and civic organizations to save up to 50 percent on EV charging station installation costs,” said Sacoyya Davis, Ameren Missouri program supervisor, efficient electrification. More information on the incentives can be found at ameren.com/missouri/business/electric-vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Electrical Connection donated a dual-port EV charging station and its installation to the St. Charles County EDC to help encourage more investment in expanding EV charging station networks. NECA contractor RJP Electric performed the installation with its IBEW Local 1 workforce.

“We’ve been prioritizing reliable EV charging stations in our training for 10 years,” said Frank Jacobs, IBEW Local 1 business manager.

“Under the guidance of IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center Director Dennis Gralike, our staff helped pioneer the national Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP), which established standards for reliable installations by certified installers. What’s exciting to see is how our journey workers are expanding their knowledge in all aspects of electrical and communication technology.”

Dr. Linda Little, assistant director of the training center, helped develop the EVITP national curriculum and the reliability standards that include Article 625 of the National Electrical Code, which covers EV charging systems. More than 30 Electrical Connection-member electrical contractors have completed EVITP training, as have more than 400 IBEW Local 1 electricians.

The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.



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