Community speaks out at ADOT’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Open Day

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Arizona is receiving millions of dollars in federal funding to install electric vehicle charging stations along Highways 10 and 19, and community members had the chance to participate in an open day on Wednesday 19 October.

Arizona is one of the first states to get the go-ahead for the more than $76 million electrical infrastructure plan.

ADOT spokesman Doug Nick said the goal of the meeting was to ensure the new charging stations will be accessible to everyone.

“We want to make sure that there is equity here that all the populations who want to have electric vehicles, the charging stations are in places that will serve everyone. That they’re not just in particular areas of the city or that they’re not targeting a particular demographic,” Nick said.

ADOT officials say the plan is to install a charging station every 50 miles on Arizona’s highways. Electric car owner Dan Brees said he attended the open house to make sure it actually happened.

“What was it, a chance for them to come in and think about what EV owners need, which is spacing to get rid of the anxiety related self-reliance, which is a reality,” Brees said. “If you run out of energy, you’re arrested.”

Brees said he also wanted to make sure ADOT understands the importance of expediting these charges.

“You can have a lot of charging stations, but if people take 45 minutes, an hour, 2 hours, they use that charging station,” Brees said.

Arizona has received over $11 million and is expected to receive over $16 million by the end of the month.

Because there’s a long way to go, future electric car owner Sue Ritz said she came to the meeting to make sure the money was put to good use.

“Electric vehicles are the future, so as a future EV owner, I would love to see this infrastructure become part of a seed project, which could inspire more private EV stations to come up all over the world. ‘State,’ Ritz said.

Currently, there are more than 43,000 electric vehicles registered in the state, but less than 2,000 car chargers, which means there is one charger for every 22 electric cars on the road.

KOLD News 13 asked Nick what they were going to do to keep up with demand as more people buy electric cars on the road.

“Obviously Congress and the President saw that there was going to be a trend and a need and the money was appropriate and so we’re going to take advantage of that, so we can put these chargers where they need to be because that it’s just something the market will demand,” Nick said. “I suspect you’ll not only see efforts that involve public-private partnerships, but certainly the industry itself has a stake in that and we’ll see how that plays out as well.”

ADOT will update existing loaders in the new year, and Nick said you can expect to see these new loaders built in 2024.

If you couldn’t do it, you can always give your opinion on ADOT website if you click on EV Plan.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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