SALT LAKE CITY — State and local leaders gathered at the headquarters of Packsize International on Tuesday to cut the ribbon on the company's newly completed battery of 50 electric vehicle charging stations — the largest private installation of its kind in Utah.
Packsize CEO Hanko Kiessner said he hopes investing in the chargers, which will also be available to the public, will help incentivize his employees and other Utah drivers to make the switch to zero-emission electric vehicles.
"Utah has 1.32 plug-in electric vehicles per 1,000 people, and the state’s population is 3.11 million," Kiessner said. "This equates to approximately 2,356 PEVs in the state. We can and must do better.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, only six states currently have more than two plug-in vehicles registered per 1,000 residents.
The cost of purchasing and installing the chargers was offset by a Rocky Mountain Power program that helps businesses finance new electric vehicle charging stations.
Kiessner, whose company manufactures high-tech, on-demand packaging equipment, also co-founded Leaders for Clean Air, a Utah nonprofit working to facilitate business investment in electric vehicle infrastructure.
Micah Kagan, the group's business development director, said the overall goal of the effort is to help address Utah's persistent poor air quality issues.
"We'd like to see as many clean fuel vehicles on the road as possible," Kagan said. "It's driven by our collective desire to do all that we can to clean up Utah's dirty air."
Since it was launched in 2015, Leaders for Clean Air has helped facilitate the installation of 130 chargers at more than 40 companies across the state.