Charlottesville discusses charging network as electric vehicles grow in popularity
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As gas prices go up, some drivers are turning to electric cars, but many are worried about whether or not central Virginia has enough chargers to get around town.
Many existing electric vehicle chargers in the area are on private property rather than public.
Emily Irvine with Charlottesville Public Works says developing a public charging network is more complicated than it seems.
“Because the utilities are involved, you have to have power, and then you also have to have land use permission,” Irvine said.
Carter Myers Automotive CEO Liza Borches says finding a public charging station doesn’t matter for most electric vehicle drivers since they likely already have a charger at their home or office.
“The first thing to always remember is that 90% of the charging for an EV owner happens at home or their workplace,” Borches said.
Borches says more and more automakers are coming out with electric vehicles, and there’s support from the government thanks to the Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Charlottesville’s city government is offering some electric vehicle incentives as well.
“We have our mini grant program that’s been in place for a long time, but it’s been really underutilized. And so we are trying to study maybe why that’s been and explore ways to make it more accessible to the public,” Irvine said.
Charlottesville says it wants to keep up with the growing popularity of electric vehicles.
“Certainly think that in the next several years, folks can feel more comfortable with their electric vehicles and knowing they’re not never too far from a charging station,” Irvine said.
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