US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a big proponent of electric vehicles (EVs), admitted he struggles to find a reliable electric vehicle charger to while traveling.
Buttigieg’s complaint comes as the Biden administration launched an effort to revamp the more than 6,000 charging stations that are “temporarily unavailable.”
“We’ve definitely had that experience,” Buttigieg said about trying to find an electric vehicle charger while travelling.
“Matter of fact, had it just a few days ago at a park in town.”
“Imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t be sure when you pulled into a gas station that you’d actually get gas out of it,” he added.
“This is about making sure that access to charging is as reliable as access to fuel is today for gas cars, and we know that that’s not just a question of quantity but also one of quality.”
On Wednesday, the Biden’s administration announced $100 million in federal funds to repair “existing but non-operational, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.”
“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we are building up a national EV charging network with chargers Made in the USA,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.
“Today’s investment is a pivotal step toward revitalizing our current charging infrastructure, making EV driving cheaper, more reliable, and more convenient.”
Out of the 150,000 public EV charging ports, over 6,000 fall under the “temporarily unavailable” category.
According to WSJ, EV Chargers face several problems like power issues or damage from vandalism.
EV drivers now suffer from “range anxiety,” which means they don’t know whether they will end up stranded if there are no charging stations.
Meanwhile, according to an August study from JD Power, Tesla charging stations are the most reliable, with just a four percent failure rate.
“Overall, driver sentiment about charging has been on the decline since 2021, and charger build-out isn’t keeping pace with the rapid arrival of more EVs, said Brent Gruber, JD Power’s executive director, EV practice,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
“You’re taking an area that’s already deficient in terms of availability, and you’re widening that gap,” Gruber told the outlet.
Last month, Ford CEO Jim Farley, who took his electric car (EV) on a road trip across the American West, suffered the same issues with charging his vehicle.
According to Farley, it took 40 minutes in charging time to get up to just 40 percent charge on his car.
In comparison, a gas-powered vehicle would take just minutes.
He stressed the “importance of fast charging” for his customers.