New electric vehicle fast charging station comes to Downtown Pittsburg
City Press Releases
February 17, 2023
Pittsburg, KS – Electric vehicle drivers will soon have a place to charge up in Downtown Pittsburg thanks to a Pittsburg State University graduate, local sustainability advocates, the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation, and the City of Pittsburg.
A new EV charging station will be brought on line Wednesday, February 22, and will be located in the parking lot north of the Colonial Fox Theatre. The only one of its kind in Pittsburg and the first fast charging station in southeast Kansas, this new charger puts the city on the map for EV drivers.
Kelly Burgess, a Pittsburg native and PSU graduate who now works for CNH Industrial, generously gifted the charging unit and arranged for its installation. Burgess’ idea to bring a fast charging station to Pittsburg was inspired by his strong ties to the community.
“After creating Action Charging & Energy LLC, I felt it was necessary to show support to the Pittsburg area especially after my father, who drives an electric vehicle, pointed out that the closest DC Fast Charger is in Joplin,” said Burgess. “Given that 40 percent of new vehicle purchases are projected to be electric by 2030, I felt a duty to look after my hometown.”
According to Burgess, this 25-kilowatt DC Fast Charger is capable of integrating into the Colonial Fox’s existing electrical infrastructure, and gives most EVs a healthy charge in just two hours. The charging installation is supported by the SWTCH Energy network where drivers can create an account and activate the station from their smartphone.
The City of Pittsburg has supported the project by coordinating the logistics of the installation with Evergy, and providing infrastructure in the form of new striping and bollards. The City’s Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC) has also been closely involved through SAC member Dr. Jim Triplett.
A sustainability advocate and Pitt State professor emeritus, Triplett was approached early in the planning stages to provide his expertise, and brought the project to the Sustainability Advisory Committee. Triplett says he is excited for the impact this project will have on the city and on the downtown.
“Folks coming in from the bypass have a reason to stop and visit, and charge their vehicle while going to lunch or going shopping – bringing even more foot traffic to our downtown,” Triplett says. “Having a quick charge unit here not only benefits visitors passing through Pittsburg, but it also gives people in the community a good picture of our intention to move toward sustainable energy consumption.”
The news of a fast charging station comes on the heels of another big announcement regarding a partnership between the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation and PSU Kelce College of Business. This fast charger will be a temporary installation and will not interfere with future plans for the space. This initial installation is a first step to give the City of Pittsburg and Evergy utilization data to support faster, more powerful installations in the future.
“Even if we can get a year or two of activity, this gives us an opportunity to prove its merit and make the case for more EV chargers downtown,” added Triplett.
Both Burgess and Triplett agreed, the Colonial Fox Theatre’s property provides an ideal location for the installation, and they are thankful for the enthusiastic support from CFTF staff and trustees.
Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation Executive Director Vonnie Corsini says this project aligns perfectly with the mission and vision of the organization.
“We are thrilled to be involved in this project and to be able to have a place to facilitate this,” says Corsini. “Our vision has always been about positioning Downtown Pittsburg as an attractive destination and this installation complements that mission.”
Project representatives will officially unveil the new charging station during an informal ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, February 22, at 1:30 pm in the lot adjacent to the Colonial Fox Theatre. Members of the community are encouraged to attend.
The mission of the City of Pittsburg is to provide exceptional services, facilities and activities with integrity, professionalism, excellent customer service and a commitment to economic vitality.