CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — For most car owners, finding somewhere to fill up is easy, but it’s not that simple for electric cars.
“I can go anywhere and there’s a gas station,” said Maria Scott, a Pittsburgh resident. “And that’s not the case yet with chargers.”
That could be changing in the next few years with the West Virginia Department of Transportation planning to bring more charging stations to the Mountain State.
“U.S. car manufacturers are rolling out electric cars now, and people need a place to charge them,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director of the West Virginia Citizen Action Group (WVCAG).
In anticipation of an increase in electric vehicles, the federal government asked each state to submit a National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) plan.
West Virginia’s NEVI Deployment Plan proposes putting over 900 charging stations along all 6 interstates that cross West Virginia, starting with areas around major cities. According to their plan, these stations would ideally be located about 50 miles apart.
Anyone can use the stations, but it will primarily benefit those out of state, like Virginia resident Kosca Apostalakis.
He said it typically costs him seven dollars to fill up for 300 miles.
“Typically, you’re never at zero. You’re at twenty percent, and you normally charge to eighty percent. So, I normally stop for fifteen, twenty minutes, grab a coffee, do something, depending on where the super charger is,” Apostalakis said.
Superchargers may be faster than normal electric car chargers, but with more available charging stations, it will make Apostalakis’ trips easier.
“There’s enough to get you where you need to get, but the difference is you just may need to charge a little bit longer than you will if there’s more superchargers where you can just charge ten minutes,” he said.
Through the NEVI program, West Virginia is expected to get more than $45 million over the next five years to help develop charging stations and electric vehicle infrastructure.