Arkansas In Line For $ 54 Million To Build Electric Car Charging Stations


Two big announcements last week indicate that 2022 could be the year Arkansas fully connects to the electric vehicle industry.

First, the Biden administration has said it will provide states $ 5 billion to meet the goal of building 500,000 charging stations across the country. Arkansas is expected to receive around $ 54 million, which will be a vital investment in building statewide transportation infrastructure that supports electric vehicles, according to Becky Keogh, secretary of the Department of Energy and of the environment.

“We could deploy a very extensive transport infrastructure,” she said. “We are still evaluating the requirements Arkansas must meet to receive this money, but this is a significant investment and it makes us competitive in deploying chargers in our state.”

The key is to have chargers available every 50 to 60 miles to build the confidence of EV owners or the businesses that use them to demonstrate that their cars and trucks won’t waste juice in the middle of nowhere.

Overall, Arkansas should be able to create a network of charging stations across the state that encourages travel and entices more Arkansans to buy electric vehicles, Keogh said.

The state’s electric vehicle sector strengthened further last week when Canoo announced it would move some of its manufacturing operations overseas to focus on production in the United States. The company said Northwest Arkansas would benefit from the move.

This follows a major announcement last month, when Canoo announced that it would be relocating its corporate headquarters and research and development facilities to Bentonville as part of a strategic initiative to promote the US highway corridor. 412 between Oklahoma and Arkansas as a center for research, development and manufacturing of electric vehicles. Powerful.

This week’s manufacturing news further bolsters state efforts; Canoo said he could start building electric vehicles in Arkansas as early as next year.

Previous announcements from Canoo have indicated that the company plans to create more than 500 jobs in the Northwest Arkansas area.

Northwest and central Arkansas has so far been the primary focus for building electric car charging stations in the state, although that will likely change from next year as the The state taps into the federal dollars that the Biden administration makes available.

The federal infrastructure bill that includes funds for charging stations also allocates an additional $ 2.5 billion in local grants to support charging stations in rural areas and disadvantaged communities.

The state’s Department of Energy and Environment relied on federal funding from the state’s energy program to pay chargers. The agency also has about $ 215,563 for the effort as part of the federal government’s settlement with Volkswagen regarding environmental violations.

This year, the state provided funds to add 50 charging stations and that effort will resume next year with Volkswagen’s settlement dollars dedicated to construction.

Now the initiative is picking up even more speed with the $ 54 million earmarked for Arkansas as part of Biden’s plan.

Arkansas will develop a plan that installs DC fast chargers to support fast charging at key points across the state, as well as the development of overnight charging stations in communities and public spaces where car owners electrics can plug in vehicles overnight. The plans will also include discounts for owners who charge their vehicles where they live, Keogh said.

HAPPY HOMB

Home BancShares Inc. is about to relocate to Texas.

Conway Bank said on Wednesday that its shareholders and the owners of Amarillo-based Happy Bancshares Inc. have both approved the proposed $ 918 million merger of the two banks.

On Thursday, the acquisition was approved by the Arkansas State Banking Board and the Arkansas State Bank commissioner. Pending federal approval, the close is slated for the first quarter of next year.

Home Bancshares, parent company of Centennial Bank, announced that it will enter the Texas market with the full acquisition of shares of Happy Bancshares, which operates as Happy State Bank across the enclave and other parts of Texas.

With Happy on board, Home BancShares will be one of the 75 largest banks in the country with approximately $ 23.3 billion in assets, $ 13.4 billion in loans and $ 18.7 billion in deposits.

“I would like to thank both the shareholders of Happy and the shareholders of HOMB for their support of the merger,” Home BancShares Chairman John Allison said in a statement.

THE CIRCUMFERENCE IS INCREASING

The Circumference Group, a Little Rock investment firm, is venturing with a studio focused on identifying, developing and funding pre-seed and start-up companies.

The initiative, CG Ventures, will help entrepreneurs create strategic value and deliver scalable value to clients, the company said, adding that it is keen to help build successful businesses for the long term.

“Through CG Ventures, we will partner with motivated entrepreneurs by providing capital and access to the cross-functional expertise of our team,” said Jeff Fox, CEO and Founder of Circumference. “Circumference Group will provide its partner studios with an invaluable network of new end users and potential investors through the team’s global relationships and advisory roles. “

Arthur Ordinal, previously Executive Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Avis Budget Group, will lead Circumference efforts.

NLR BUILDING SALE

Diamant Properties is the new owner of a former Arvest bank branch in the Park Hill neighborhood of North Little Rock. The 2,532 square foot building located at 3502 John F. Kennedy Blvd. sold for $ 550,000.

Diamant Comptabilité will move operations into the building. The company, owned by Shane Diamant, provides accounting, financial processing, payroll and tax management services with a focus on small businesses and individuals.

Brandon Rogers of Colliers of Arkansas represented the seller in the transaction and Stuart S. Mackey of Hathaway Group represented the buyer.

“With its great visibility and easy access to and from Highways 30 and 40, this is a fantastic purchase for its new ownership group,” said Rogers.

“This location in the neighborhood continues to show Shane’s interest in serving the local business owner,” Mackey added. “Hathaway Group was proud to have represented Diamant CPA in finding a new home and enjoyed working with Colliers to meet the needs of both clients in this transaction.”

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