United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg isn’t immune from the inherent negatives of electric vehicles, admitting that there are many times that he struggles to find a charging location for his own car whenever traveling.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal that was released on Wednesday, the former Democratic presidential candidate and strong electric vehicle supporter admitted to faults of infrastructure for the new technology. He admits that everyone has “had that experience” where an electric vehicle owner can’t find a charging station for their car.
“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.”
Another high-ranking Biden administration official, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, just ran into these same issues when driving through the southern United States to promote green energy. As previously covered by the DC Enquirer, a member of her team had the police called on them after holding an EV charging spot for Granholm.
As WSJ reported, electric vehicle charging spots are not increasing at the same rate that ownership of electric vehicles is. As such, driver sentiment about charging has seen a continued decline since 2021 as more and more of them have struggled to find spots to fill up when needed.
The Biden administration is attempting to do what it can to remedy the problem, announcing on Wednesday that they would be dedicated $100 million in federal funds to repair charging stations that are “non-operational.” The money comes from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that was passed by Congress back in 2021. Notably, the money will not be going towards making any new stations and only repairing those that have become dilapidated, per the announcement.
That money goes towards the 6,000 charging ports that fall under the “temporarily unavailable” category, a small portion of the currently 150,000 charging stations. Such a large investment seems like a lot for such a small amount of ports, dedicating a whopping $16,667 to each broken charging station.
Most stations that need repair are either from failed routine maintenance, power issues, or vandalism that damaged them, meaning that the $100 million being spent now won’t be the last time it’s needed either.