You might see these start to pop up in your area soon.
On September 27, the Transportation Department gave the green light to all 50 states for installing charging stations along interstate highways. This move is viewed as key to getting consumers interested in buy electric cars since some have expressed concerns about becoming stranded in the middle of nowhere.
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Under this DOT-approved plan, states would install EV charging stations about 50 miles apart all along the interstate highways. To implement this aggressive initiative, the federal government has allocated $1.5 billion with a total of $5 billion to be released over the course of 5 years. Chargers would cover 75,000 miles of highway spanning the nation.
Ultimately, the goal is to have 500,000 electric car chargers installed at the expense of taxpayers. Since these will be “fast-charger” stations, theoretically EV owners could replenish their battery in around an hour. Construction in some areas could begin as early as next spring.
“America led the original automotive revolution in the last century, and … we’re poised to lead in the 21st century with electric vehicles,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
There are obvious criticisms of this plan. For one, the amount of taxpayer money used to promote it is troubling at a time of economic upheaval. The plan calls for at least 4 chargers per station along interstates, but those could easily fill up as each vehicle needs to sit for about an hour, creating long lines, adding significantly to travel times.
While some argue this will spur adoption and in turn decrease electric car prices, so far we’ve seen EV prices ratchet up repeatedly just in the past two years. In fact, many automakers increased their pricing structures to swallow up federal tax incentives for buying an electric vehicle. With many of the materials needed for making the batteries subject to interesting geopolitical forces, it’s not unreasonable to believe prices will only continue to rise.
Source: The Detroit News
Photos via GM, Nissan