Feds Requiring EV Chargers in Desolate Parts of the West That Are Off the Electric Grid

(p. B1) The U.S. government wants fast EV-charging stations every 50 miles along major highways. Some Western states say the odds of making that work are as remote as their rugged landscapes.

States including Utah, Wyoming, Montana, New Mexico and Colorado are raising concerns about rules the Biden administration has proposed for receiving a share of the coming $5 billion in federal funding to help jump-start a national EV-charging network. The states say it will be difficult, if not impossible, to run EV chargers along desolate stretches of highway.

“There are plenty of places in Montana and other states here out West where it’s well more than 50 miles between gas stations,” said Rob Stapley, an official with the Montana Department of Transportation. “Even if there’s an exit, or a place for people to pull off, the other big question is: Is there anything on the electrical grid at a location or even anywhere close to make that viable?”

. . .

(p. B2) Some Western states are unhappy over the federal determination of which U.S. highways should have the chargers, which is a carry-over from 2015 legislation for alternative-fuels roadways.

Mr. De La Rosa of New Mexico said it could result in a disproportionate number of charging stations in the southeast part of the state, and none in the northwest. “It’s not apparent here in New Mexico how those decisions were made,” he said.

Utah’s population is largely clustered in cities along the Wasatch Front and Interstate-15 in the northern and southern parts of the state, and there are concerns that spending on remote locations could skip serving the routes most delivery drivers and residents use, said Kim Frost, executive director of the Utah Clean Air Partnership.

For the full story see:

Jennifer Hiller. “Plan for EV Chargers Meets Skepticism in West.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, June 14, 2022): B1-B2.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 13, 2022, and has the title “Biden Plan for EV Chargers Meets Skepticism in Rural West.”)

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