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Tourism office adds EV charging station

Key players celebrate the grand opening of an EV charging station behind the Visit Corinth tourism office in downtown Corinth.

Staff photo by Zack Steen

Drivers with electric vehicles now have a place to juice up in Corinth.

The installation of a EV charging station was recently completed in downtown Corinth and charges are free at the unit until further notice.

In a joint effort between The Alliance's Community Development Council, Cortelco, Visit Corinth and a handful of other local organizations, the station opened for business several weeks ago behind the Visit Corinth tourism office on Fillmore Street.

The steps begin not long ago when Cortelco Director of Operations Robert Schnabl approached The Alliance with an offer to give a EV charging station to the city.

Cortelco recently become a distributor for one of the world's largest electric vehicle charging station suppliers, EV Box, said Schnabl.

"Cortelco has been a member of The Alliance and of the community for a long time. The local community responded enthusiastically to our new LED business so now we wanted to show our appreciation by donating a charging station," he said. "We want to do our part in promoting Corinth as a place for technology-based companies to thrive."

With the growing popularity of electric vehicles, no time was better to add a charger in Corinth, according to The Alliance President Clayton Stanley.

"We have been increasingly getting calls as to where people visiting the area can charge their vehicle, and until now we haven't had an option," said Stanley. "The charger will become a great draw to downtown."

Tourism Director Christy Burns thinks the location could not be better.

"There is currently a void on the high routes between Memphis to the Shoals as well as Jackson, Tenn. to Tupelo," said Burns. "Hopefully folks will come into downtown for a charge and explore our shops and restaurants for a few hours."

Stanley is also seeing the possible economic impact of the charger.

"Embracing this technology is important to demonstrate the progressive attitude of our community. Specifically as it relates to recruiting automotive suppliers "" I believe that in the future the auto manufacturers near us are going to be making an EV," he added. "In order to be able to compete for automotive parts suppliers who supply these plants, I firmly believe we need to be a community that supports the technology and car they will be supplying parts to."

Stanley said the charger is currently free to use, but a fee for charges longer than two to three hours may be added later. The charger and its location will also be listed on all the major EV websites and mobile apps, including PlugShare.

Stanley said the charger installation was a community effort and many came together to make it happen.

While The Alliance spearheaded the project, Cortelco donated the charger, Wilbanks Electric and ACE Power handled installation and NESCO Electric supplied materials. The City of Corinth allowed for placement of the charger in downtown and Visit Corinth will pay to maintain and operate it.