Recently, the United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg admitted that even he has trouble finding reliable electric vehicle charging stations when traveling. Notably, Buttigieg is a massive proponent of EVs, pushing the widespread adoption of battery-powered cars.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the state of EV charging infrastructure in America and the Biden administration’s initiative to improve roughly 6,000 charging stations deemed “temporarily unavailable.” This will cost U.S. taxpayers approximately $100 million.
The article reports on the declining sentiment among EV drivers regarding the functionality of charging stations. Many describe the chargers as “glitchy or inoperable” where EV drivers feel these problems are only worsening. Buttigieg shared that he has personally experienced this.
“We’ve definitely had that experience,” Buttigieg said when discussing the disappointing experience of pulling into a charging station to find a lack of functional chargers. “Matter of fact, had it just a few days ago at a park in town.”
Buttigieg illustrates how much more inconvenient it is to charge an electric vehicle compared to the quick and easy experience of filling up a gas-powered car. The Transportation Secretary explained that the goal is to make EV charging as reliable and available as traditional gas stations.
“Imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t be sure when you pulled into a gas station that you’d actually get gas out of it,” he added. “This is about making sure that access to charging is as reliable as access to fuel is today for gas cars, and we know that that’s not just a question of quantity but also one of quality.”
Democrats, who often take a clear pro-EV political stance, are scrambling to set up the necessary charging infrastructure to make mass adoption of these vehicles feasible. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm spoke about the expensive Biden administration initiative to improve charging stations.
“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are building up a national EV charging network with chargers Made in the U.S.A.,” Granholm said in a statement. “Today’s investment is a pivotal step toward revitalizing our current charging infrastructure, making EV driving cheaper, more reliable, and more convenient.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on the souring sentiment among EV owners regarding the lack of charging availability in relation to the demand for these vehicles. “Overall, driver sentiment about charging has been on the decline since 2021, and charger build-out isn’t keeping pace with the rapid arrival of more EVs, said Brent Gruber, J.D. Power’s executive director, EV practice,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.
“You’re taking an area that’s already deficient in terms of availability and you’re widening that gap,” Gruber continued. According to the WSJ, nearly half of all prospective EV owners claim that a lack of public chargers is a significant reason they chose not to purchase one.
The American Tribune recently reported that car dealerships have been rejecting new orders of EVs from auto manufacturers due to an oversupply of unsold vehicles sitting on their lots. Industry experts implied that many Americans are not ready to make the drastic lifestyle shifts required to drive an EV.
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