EV Charging Stations Attract Customers

Two Jefferson City businesses are now popular stops for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. Customers can recharge their vehicle while they get a bite to eat at Culver’s or stay at the Courtyard Marriott. 

“We’re excited to offer on-site EV charging as another amenity for our guests who stay with us, as well as those who are passing through town,” said Ken Ordyk, General Manager, Courtyard Marriot. “Jefferson City offers many historic sites, local restaurants and businesses that families can explore, and we hope the added benefit of convenient EV charging will attract even more travelers to our region.” 

The Marriott charging stations are not just for overnight guests. Sales Director Michele Braun added, “We have Starbucks here, so they can have a cup of coffee while their cars are charging.”

The charging station at the Marriott will be able to charge up to four cars simultaneously. Drivers will pay Marriott per kilowatt-hour of electricity used.

Courtyard by Marriott partnered with Ameren Missouri to install a DC fast-charging station at the Marriott parking garage on Bolivar Street, enabling travelers to recharge their vehicle in as little as 30 to 45 minutes.

Through the Charge Ahead program, Ameren Missouri is offering incentives for local businesses to own and operate additional EV charging stations at their locations, ultimately installing 1,000 EV charging stations at 350 locations across the state. 

As part of its commitment to reach net-zero carbon emissions, Ameren Missouri also plans to electrify its own vehicle fleet, with a goal that 100% of new light-duty vehicle purchases by 2030 will be electric. In addition, 35% of Ameren Missouri’s overall vehicle fleet, including light-duty, medium-duty, heavy-duty, forklifts and ATV/UTVs, will be electrified by 2030.

Culver’s has three charging stations in its parking lot offered 24/7, free of charge. Allen and Gretchen Walz and Kendall Walz Newton, the owners and operators of Culver’s, installed two Telsa destination chargers and one Jucebox charger at their restaurant. Kendall Newton said “We’re the only ones in the community that have Tesla chargers, and we also have another generic charger that any car can charge on.” 

Allen Walz drives a Tesla. He says that company can track the vehicle and can tell the driver how much power is left in the car and where to stop to reload. “Depending on the heat, the air conditioning, how fast you go… it uses more power,” Walz said.

“The car will tell you where to stop and how long to stop. So, we hope to be one of those stops,” Newton said. 

Electric vehicles produce no emissions and are better for the environment than gas-powered vehicles. The automotive industry says there are about 1.5 million electric cars on America’s roads right now. They expect that number to reach almost 19 million within 10 years.

ABOVE:  Ameren Missouri hosted a ribbon-cutting to mark the opening of the EV Charging Station at Courtyard Marriott. The event was attended by special guests Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe and Mayor Carrie Tergin. Pictured cutting the ribbon, Ralph Webb, Ameren Missouri Director of Central MO Division.