Would you consider buying an electric car if you saw more charging stations around your neighborhood? Utility companies and environmental groups hope the answer is yes. Pushing for the expansion of electric vehicle charging stations would mean these cars could drive longer distances and become more reliable, combating the oil industry’s claim that electric vehicles are less convenient than combustion engines.
Utility companies are planning expansions of charging stations in states such as Kansas, Maryland, and Texas, but fossil fuel companies are fighting back against the rise of electric vehicles under the pretense that utility companies will charge customers high rate increases to finance the expansion of electric vehicles. Despite reports that plans to build charging stations, such as the proposal to add 24,000 stations in Maryland, would cost each ratepayer only 24-26 cents a month, oil and gas lobbies are sticking to their guns on the issue in an attempt to maintain the American car owner’s reliance on petroleum-based fuels.
Electric vehicles are expected to make up 40 percent of the U.S. passenger vehicle fleet by 2040, and progressive politicians are eager to continue to push for expanding electric power. A Maryland regulator says, “As more drivers see public charging pop up at gas stations, libraries and on the side of the road, it’ll prompt consumers to think twice when making their next vehicle purchase.” This consumer and government push towards electric vehicles offers hope for the future of personal automobiles, but environmental groups are wary of big oil’s lobbying impeding the path of green vehicles as it did in California in the 1990s. Fortunately, awareness about the benefits of owning an electric vehicle is growing in prevalence, along with convenient charging stations, and we at the Optimist Daily are optimistic that not even big oil’s dollars can stand in the way of the green transportation of the future.