As the popularity of electric vehicles soars, EV charging stations are popping up everywhere and EV’s are on the rise in the U.S. California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, and Colorado are the top states for EVs
Washington D.C. has the closest chargers per mileage ratio, but California, despite its 175,000 miles of roadways, comes in second, making one charger available every 5.05 miles! California is leading the way in the number of EVs on the road and the number of charging stations available to keep them on the road, just as the state has led the way in green tech for years. Still, the number of chargers comes short of requirements.
California leads the pack when it comes to EVs, but is it enough? Even with new plans proposed, there are still far more EVs than there are chargers in the Golden State. According to KCRA, approximately 27 cars to each charger. “There are charging dead zones throughout the state. In Sacramento, those dead zones include Midtown, East Sacramento, Oak Park, areas with mid-to-low-income residents, apartment complexes and more.”
It’s not just drivers, but also Governor Newson, taking the shortage seriously. There are a whopping 930,811 EVs on the road in California with 34,185 ports, mostly Level Two chargers. The Golden State is also home to 40% of DCFC. The number of EVs on the road is constantly increasing and a recent report found the state needs more EV chargers to keep up with the pace.
The report from the California Energy Commission is part of Assembly Bill (AB) 2127 designed to help Governor Gavin Newsom reach the goal of his 2020 executive order requiring all new passenger-vehicle sales to be zero-emission by 2035. It states at least 1.2 million new chargers are needed. According to Green Car Reports, “In addition to the 1.2 million charging stations for passenger vehicles, the CEC estimates 157,000 will be needed by 2030 to support the 180,000 electric medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and electric buses, anticipated to be on the road by that time.”
Currently, more than 73,000 chargers have been added with another 123,000 planned, still leaving the state short of the proposed goal of 250,000 more chargers by 2025. Newsom introduced a proposed budget of $500 million more funding to fill in the gap between the number of chargers planned and the number needed. This follows a $437 million utility-based program passed last year with the aim of adding 38,000 chargers over 5 years.
Despite the immediate need for more chargers, California is years ahead of other states in EV infrastructure; in fact, fully half of all EVs in the U.S. are driven by Californians. Interest in sustainability in the state is one reason, but so is a new law that makes it easier for residents to request their landlords install EV chargers. In summary, the law states that if the tenant agrees to terms about the installation, maintenance, use, and removal of the charging station, the landlord is required by law to approve the request. California new building codes are required to make space to EV charger installation in their blueprints, automatically increasing the number of chargers with each new building.
California is also one of the few states taking disadvantaged communities into consideration, allocating fully half of the California Energy Commission Clean Transportation budget to chargers in underprivileged communities.
As California zooms ahead of the pack, the rest of the country will need to catch up and put more state dollars into EV infrastructure to plan for the EV boom. California may become the first state to have the type of EV infrastructure required to support a majority of cars on the road being electric, making the state even more of the place to be for those who are ready for a high-tech, greener future.
Other states are following suit. According to Governing.com, “Jurisdictions that hold off on building charging infrastructure until they are sure EVs are really coming are likely to be caught flat-footed. ‘We don’t really have a chicken and egg problem, we have a chicken and waffle problem,’ says Chris Nelder, the EV grid integration manager for the Carbon-Free Mobility Practice at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a clean energy research organization. ‘The vehicles are definitely coming, so we should stop waffling and build some charging stations.’” Check out the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to find the closest EV station near you.
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