A top official with the Biden Department of Energy became embroiled in a dispute with one family over electric vehicle chargers during a tour of the American south to promote the administration’s green transportation policies.
Jennifer Granholm, Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy, took part in a multi-day caravan of electric vehicles touring America this summer to showcase President Joe Biden’s commitment to expanding electric vehicle infrastructure outside the traditional enclaves of liberal urban cities. However, the lack of vehicle chargers caused Granholm and her entourage some embarrassment as they pulled off the highway in Grovetown, Georgia to power up.
According to the Daily Caller, Granholm and her fleet of electric vehicles, including a Cadillac and a Ford F-150, commandeered a limited number of charging stations by using a non-electric vehicle to block access to one of three working chargers for the secretary to use later in the day. It was at that point when a family waiting next in line to use the charger got into a dispute with Granholm’s staff and eventually called the police.
Officers with the local sheriff’s department told the family, who were suffering under extreme heat and carrying a baby, that there was nothing they could do because it was not against the law to park a non-electric vehicle in front of electric vehicle chargers. Energy Department staffers scrambled to fix the fiasco by sending their vehicles to some of the slower-charging units until both the family and Secretary Granholm had room to charge. The groups were also constrained by the fact that one of the four chargers at the site was broken.
John Ryan, the driver of an electric BMW who was in line behind the secretary and the family, said such disputes are common given the lack of EV infrastructure in Georgia.
“It’s just par for the course,” he shrugged. “They’ll get it together at some point.”
Despite its promises, the Biden administration has yet to realize the proliferation of EV chargers funded through a national infrastructure bill passed last year. The push to electrify America’s vehicles has drawn the ire of America’s auto unions and led conservative states like Wyoming to opt out of the funding.