ASBURY PARK, NEW JERSEY (AP) – A wave of new electric vehicle charging stations across the country is coming as interest in alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles is on the rise and could heighten further due to a global spike in gasoline prices.
Though most of the plans were in the works before already high gas prices surged because of the war in Ukraine, the timing may work in favour of electric vehicle makers and other proponents of ditching fossil fuels.
From coast to coast, cities big and small are adding charging stations for electric vehicles. Strong demand is forecast for the vehicles, despite their higher prices and limited availability, meaning even more communities will feel pressure to add charging stations or risk having motorists pass them by in favour of plug-in-friendly places.
The publicly funded investments come as gasoline prices in most of the country are above USD4 a gallon and significantly more in some spots.
On Monday, New Jersey officials awarded USD1 million in grants to install electric vehicle charging stations in 24 tourist areas around the state.
The idea was to help spur tourism by reassuring visitors who own electric vehicles that they can come to a vacation spot in New Jersey and not run out of power to get back home.
“Don’t worry about it,” said President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Joseph Fiordaliso. “We have the equipment here so that you don’t have to have range anxiety.”
Spots getting money for new charging stations include Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Ocean City and several state parks and forests.
The money comes from the state budget. On Tuesday, NJ Transit, the state’s public transportation agency, unveiled electric charging stations at a bus depot in Camden, outside Philadelphia. There are now about 625 vehicle charging stations in New Jersey
On the federal side, the city of Hoboken, just outside New York City, is getting up to six new charging stations in a deal also announced on Monday.