Governor Andy Beshear (D) and Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt, along with several state and local officials, recently gathered at the Circle K convenience store and filling station in Richmond, KY, to break ground on the first electric vehicle (EV) fast charging station in the southeastern United States built with funds from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

[Above photo by KYTC]

Developers of privately-owned fast charging stations, mandated to remain open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, are obligated to finance a minimum of 20 percent of the construction and operational costs for the initial five years, while NEVI funding will cover the remaining expenses. At the event, the governor noted that his administration is also seeking proposals to install up to 16 additional stations along interstates and parkways statewide using NEVI funding – all part of Kentucky’s longer-term effort to add up to 40 new fast charging stations by 2025.

“To make sure Kentucky keeps leading the way, we’re building out our EV infrastructure so our families can charge up as they travel our great state,” Gov. Beshear said in a statement – noting that Kentucky is set to receive nearly $70 million from the NEVI program to accomplish that goal.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for administering those NEVI funds and for building out the state’s EV recharging network.

“The number of registered EVs in Kentucky continues to grow, and we want to ensure current and future owners have a reliable network of charging stations to support long-distance EV travel,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray.

The Circle K Richmond location is one of two awarded sites Circle K will own and operate – becoming one of the fast-charging EV stations to be built across Kentucky.

That Circle K Richmond charging site will initially offer four 180 kilowatt fast chargers, each ready to recharge a typical EV in under 20 minutes. The units, initially equipped with standard Combined Charging System 1 connectors, will undergo upgrades to North American Charging Standard connectors later this year. This transition will occur after the finalization of national standards and UL certification to ensure support for all current and future EV makes and models.

“We’re very pleased to partner with the state in bringing EV fast charging to the commonwealth with the support of the NEVI program,” said Louise Warner, Circle K senior vice president of global fuels. “Partnerships like these are helping to accelerate the development of charging infrastructure to keep pace with growing demand and EV adoption.”