Wyoming is blocking President Biden’s plan for a nationwide network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
In September 2022, the Biden administration announced a plan to install at least one charging station every 50 miles of interstate highway as part of its zero emissions policy.
This stage of the plan aims to add 500,000 new charging stations across the country at a cost of $7.5 billion in tax dollars. However, Wyoming has declined to participate.
Officials in the state of Wyoming have declined to participate in Biden’s plan for a nationwide network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. They believe that the plan to install a charging station every 50 miles is not worth their time and resources. Wyoming has stated that it considers the plan to be a waste.
Politico reported, “The state says building and maintaining a charging station every 50 miles would require vast resources with little payoff. Only about 500 people own electric cars in the state.”
Wyoming officials have expressed concerns that the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations would be a burden on their state treasury.
According to them, there are currently few EV owners, and the charging stations would not generate enough revenue to cover their construction costs until 2040, at the earliest. As federal subsidies for the stations only last five years, the state would be responsible for covering the costs for a prolonged period.
State officials told the Biden administration, “Wyoming has no desire to establish infrastructure that will likely fail.”
However, they have presented an alternative proposal.
They have asked the federal government to build the charging network on secondary roads and local highways that serve the state’s tourist industry, such as Yellowstone National Park, where many visitors in EVs drive. This plan is more feasible as these roads are heavily used by EV owners.
The Biden administration declined Wyoming’s alternative proposal for the nationwide network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Additionally, the President’s plans for EVs have sparked controversy by implying that a lack of EVs is a result of racism in the car market.
Wyoming is the first state to reject the President’s demands, but it is not the only state with concerns about the costs and maintenance of the new charging stations. Other rural states have also expressed similar concerns and are questioning whether the plan aligns with their best interests.
EnergyWire reported that there are several challenges to implementing President Biden’s plan for a nationwide network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in rural states. These include the difficulty of extending electricity to remote areas along highways and the impact of harsh winters on the performance of EVs.
The 50-mile rule, which calls for a charging station every 50 miles, is also a problem in rural areas as it often places the stations in remote locations without any nearby stores, restaurants, or towns. This not only puts the charging station at risk of vandalism but also endangers drivers who have to stop in these isolated locations.
Furthermore, the lack of businesses around these stations makes it difficult to recoup the cost of their installation. Some states in the Pacific Northwest have already reported incidents of vandalism at charging stations.
It seems that new problems with electric vehicles arise every week, but this issue is not caused by the technology itself. In Seattle, public charging stations have been damaged by metal thieves who stole the copper wiring, causing millions in damages and forcing authorities to re-evaluate the construction of the stations to prevent further vandalism.
Wyoming has previously expressed opposition to the promotion of electric vehicles. Last month, the state senate proposed a bill to protect the oil and gas industry by phasing out electric vehicles, while other states like California and New York plan to ban gas-powered cars in the next decade.
At present, electric vehicles are not practical for long-distance travel in rural states like Wyoming. The state does not want to spend millions of tax dollars to fulfill President Biden’s promotion of electric vehicles.