Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular in the U.S., but the main thing holding buyers back—not enough charging stations.
- Around 3% of U.S. car sales are EVs—and the numbers are increasing rapidly, but many are scared to make the switch due to there not being enough charging stations.
- In the U.S. there are more than 145,000 places to refuel a gas-powered car, but only around 11,600 points where any EV can charge, according to the research group Atlas Public Policy.
- The Biden administration is attempting to put a nationwide charging system in place, but there are still issues.
- Gas stations are fighting with utility companies to place charging stations at their stores while rural areas think a profit won’t be seen for decades leaving the U.S. charging map in disarray.
Why it’s news
EVs are on the rise as more Americans are making the switch to battery-operated cars, but one thing holding many back is the fear of not being able to charge their car.
Nearly everywhere you turn in the U.S. you will see a gas station which allows people to take road trips anywhere they please without the fear of running out of gas—that isn’t the case for EVs.
Many current EV owners and potential owners can’t make long drives due to the fact that the vehicle’s battery will not last and there isn’t a large amount of EV chargers that will allow them to charge on the way.
The Biden administration has been working to make a nation wide charging network where there will be an EV charger roughly every 50 miles, but it is still a work in progress.
In the process of building the charging network, utility companies and gas stations are fighting over who will get to own and operate the EV chargers.
Many electric companies want to own the chargers so they can pass all costs to the person using the charger allowing the companies to pretty much run the market, while gas stations fear of being phased out and are trying to get in on the action.
Many gas stations want to run the chargers, but also do not want to fight against the companies from whom they receive their electricity and are fearful of the costs of running fast chargers.
Another issue is that many rural states are fearing that they will not see a profit from the EV chargers for at least a decade or possibly more.
Biden’s plans of having an EV charger every 50 miles will put some charging stations in rural parts of America where there are not nearly as many people traveling as there are in other parts.
These chargers will not be used nearly as much and it will take much more time to be profitable. Many officials in rural states are asking for government subsidies as they are expecting the chargers not to see a profit until around 2040.
The nation as a whole is attempting to make EVs the number-one driver on the roads, but until these problems can be fixed many Americans will continue to opt for gas powered cars.