How to Ensure Electric Cars Aren’t Just for Rich People
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Yet two big roadblocks keep many drivers from ditching their gas-burning vehicles: the lack of home garages and shared spaces to charge batteries, and the cost of buying a new car, electric or otherwise. California has more than 650,000 battery-powered cars on its roads today, and millions more are expected to join them in coming years. The state is currently working to phase out sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035 — creating an urgent need to expand charging infrastructure across the state.
Last fall, the California Energy Commission, or CEC, said it would spend $384 million over three years to begin filling the equity gaps regarding the locations of battery charging stations, along with building refueling stations for cars that run on hydrogen gas. About half that investment is focused on building EV chargers within low-income communities — particularly at or near multifamily dwellings.
The funding is meant to serve areas that the private sector won’t, including rural regions, said Patty Monahan, CEC’s lead commissioner for transportation in Sacramento. Some individual EV charging stations may never pencil out financially for their operators, but they’re still needed in order to connect more people to the larger network. “Ultimately, we want it to be easier to refuel an electric vehicle than to refuel a conventional vehicle,” Monahan said.
California isn’t alone in its effort. In New York, a $750 million program is underway to create more than 50,000 charging stations statewide, with about a quarter of that funding set aside for low-income communities. Ohio’s largest utility, AEP, is providing $10 million in incentives to offset some of the cost of installing EV chargers at apartment buildings, workplaces, and local government buildings; about 10 percent of stations will be in limited-income areas. Colorado regulators recently approved Xcel Energy’s $110 million plan for transportation electrification, which includes adding 20,000 charging stations by 2023. The utility will also offer enhanced rebates for low-income customers and “higher-emission” communities that want to install EV charging equipment or purchase vehicles.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction
February 23, 2021 at 5:40 PM #405899HassleCatParticipant
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Many jurisdictions are considering ways to tax electric vehicles and hybrids to make up for lost gas tax revenue. Several cities and counties are looking at GPS trackers that would allow them to charge by the mile. I probably don’t have to tell you most of these schemes would hurt people who drive small cars that get good fuel mileage, or don’t run on fuel at all. They don’t have the guts to raise the fuel tax, so they look for another way to squeeze money out of the public to build wider roads for the trucking industry.
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