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Indiana investing in more EV charging stations: How accessible are they?

Electric Vehicle Charging Station.png
Posted at 9:38 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 21:38:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Many Hoosiers are taking a step to the green side by buying an electric vehicle, especially with high prices at the pump.

According to the Department of Energy,sales of electric vehicles grew by 85 percent from 2020 to 2021 across the country.

"I went from paying about $400-600 a month in gas (to) now my electricity bill is about $25-45 dollars more a month and I charge about every other day," Devon Jones, who recently invested in a Tesla said.

People like him are the reason the federal government has given each state a substantial amount of funding to invest in more electric vehicle charging stations. Indiana will invest $100 million over five years.

"Right now we are seeing about 4-5% of vehicles on the roads are EV, but that is growing by about 1% per year,” Scott Manning, the Deputy Chief of Staff at INDOT said.

This kind of investment is something electric vehicle owners like Jones think is important.

"Having a better electric infrastructure and charging stations in the state would make it more appealing to those buying cars that don't have the charging infrastructure that Tesla does," said Jones said.

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce agrees with Jones, but when comes to making broad investments into renewable energy and replacing fleets of vehicles with electric ones, the chamber believes it needs to be done gradually.

"There is also the issue of charging stations and how long it takes to charge a battery," Kevin Brinegar, President of Indiana Chamber of Commerce said. "That technology is improving but it still takes a while."

INDOT is looking at options to replace some of its fleet with electric vehicles as well. However, for some, the equipment they use the technology just isn't there yet.

"We've got to make sure that not only can we have the reliable fast-charging infrastructure to keep those trucks running all the time, but that they are equipped with the type of battery technology and powertrain that is necessary," Manning said.

INDOT has a survey on their website asking for the public's input on where new electic vehicle charging stations need to be built. They are asking for the public input until August.

They hope to have new charging stations built within the next year.