You might want to rethink getting that Tesla after all.
The Biden Administration has been pushing electric cars hard, in part through the EPA proposing incredibly strict tailpipe emissions limits in the near future. There have been all kinds of tax incentives to get people buying EVs. Then there’s the push to build chargers all over the country, making EV road trips more common, with the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program helping lead the charge. However, it looks like Wyoming is going to pull the plug on that, walking away from $24 million in funding.
Learn why Canadian government EV chargers don’t work here.
That money would go toward building 17 charging stations along the interstates in Wyoming within the next five years. Part of the deal required private businesses to provide a 20% match in funding. Those businesses would then build and run the charging stations, with the federal government helping to fund them during those first five years.
As the Cowboy State Daily points out, this plan would’ve cost the state of Wyoming absolutely zero dollars, at least during those first five years. But there’s a catch.
Depending on how you feel about EVs and their future, you either think Wyoming is run by morons or brave individuals. However, the state seems to have a good reason to be wary. WYDOT apparently ran the numbers, concluding the privately-owned charging stations wouldn’t turn a profit for 20 years. In case you’ve never helped operate a business, that’s a serious problem.
The likelihood the state would have to step in and help keep the charging stations afloat, if not stand by and watch them go belly-up after five or so years, is high. This is like when you get a cheap printer on sale, then later you learn the ink cartridges cost an arm and a leg and don’t last long. Suddenly, that cheap printer became quite expensive.
Of course, this move to forgo NEVI funding and the installation of charging stations along I-80, I-90, and I-25 is controversial. Some think WYDOT’s calculations are grossly off. That’s true when it comes to anything dealing with EVs these days, especially when taxpayer money is being used to prop it up. If so many wealthy people believe electrification is the future of the industry, why aren’t they privately funding these sorts of projects?
Images via Tesla, GM