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Building Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Cold Climates is a Waste of Tax Dollars

Winter has arrived, and Jackson, Wyoming, and Cheyenne, the state’s capital, both experienced peak temperatures that were well below freezing.

It takes guts to just utilize electric vehicles with battery power in a cold location because automobile batteries quickly lose charge in cold weather.

However, the federal government plans to spend billions on the construction of charging stations around the nation, especially in places with harsh winters where electric vehicles are frequently impracticable.

The fact that Wyoming has only 510 registered electric cars (EVs) at the end of 2021 (the most recent full year available) is one factor. Compared to one in every 69 people in California and one per 228 in Florida, it translates to one per 1,135 people, according to the Energy Department.

However, Wyoming has received $27 million of the $7.5 billion that will be given to states under the New Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for the construction of electric vehicle charging stations. This amounts to more than $52,000 for every EV in the state.

Wyoming is declining the cash because, as required by the Infrastructure Act, the Cowboy State does not want to be tasked with maintaining a network of charging stations spaced 50 miles apart.

Wyoming requested that the charging stations only be placed on side roads in popular tourist locations like Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but the federal government refused.

Building Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Cold Climates is a Waste of Tax Dollars

These unnecessary spending levels ought to be reduced when Congress considers lifting the debt ceiling. The Department of Transportation reports that three states with comparable frigid temperatures will also get substantial per-vehicle incentives.

The United States’s 380 registered electric vehicles are all from North Dakota. It will receive $68,000 for each registered EV or $26 million for charging stations. Alaska, which has $52 million, will receive $40,000 per EV, and South Dakota, $43,000.

These three states, along with Wyoming, have frigid climates. West Virginia will receive $46 million, or $46,000 each of its 1,010 electric vehicles.

California will receive $384 million over five years, which is a far greater allotment for its charging stations. Golden State drivers use electric vehicles, so the charging stations will at least see some use. According to a per-vehicle basis, this comes to $682 for each registered EV.

However, rational people might wonder why taxpayer-funded electric charging stations for the wealthy are necessary while Californian drivers are plying pricey Teslas and Hummers down sunny motorways.

The public charging stations, in the opinion of President Biden, will encourage Americans to purchase more electric automobiles. “President Biden’s leadership is driving public and private charging investment to speed the adoption of EVs and create good-paying jobs across production, installation, and operation,” the White House declared.

Although more charging stations in some areas may increase EV purchases, EVs cannot defy the laws of physics and are unlikely to be well-liked in frigid climates.

The vulnerability of car batteries to the cold is well-known in America. A lot of us have discovered that our car batteries are dead and require a jump start or replacement when we arise on a chilly winter morning. A fleet of compact cars owned by the American Automobile Association is only used to rescue distressed drivers from frigid situations.

According to a truck manufacturer’s study, a third of an electric vehicle’s range is typically lost in the winter, bringing the usual 240-mile range down to 160 miles. The 240-mile range would be reduced to 180 miles if the automobile were equipped with a heat pump, albeit the loss would be less.

Building Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Cold Climates is a Waste of Tax Dollars

Car performance in the tests varied. Winter caused the Fiat 500 42kWh Icon to lose 40% of its range. Both the Porsche Taycan 4S Performance Battery Plus with heat pump and the Ford Mustang Mach-E Extended Range RWD suffered losses of 35% and 22%, respectively. (The Taycan’s suggested retail price ranges from $83,000 to $166,000, depending on features.)

Although the harm is not as severe as with EVs, gasoline-powered engines perform less effectively in extremely cold temperatures.

Electric vehicles cannot be used year-round in states with frigid climates unless and until battery technology advances. Only wealthy people in such states can afford the luxury of having a car that cannot be used effectively for a large portion of the year.

The majority of electric cars are pricey and are typically owned by wealthy individuals elsewhere. In Wyoming or anywhere else, lower-income people don’t need to pay for the electric charging infrastructure used by higher-income people with their tax dollars.

Building charging stations in states where electric vehicles cannot be utilized for many months of the year is a wasteful move by Congress. It is ridiculous to invest money in “infrastructure” that exclusively serves wealthy individuals who do not require government assistance.

The money would almost definitely be better used if tens of millions of dollars suddenly landed in Wyoming or other cold-weather regions with no conditions attached. Instead, individual states might construct highways suitable for all types of cars or lower taxes for citizens and businesses.

Similar to how it didn’t support Tesla charging stations or gas stations, the federal government shouldn’t be paying for EV charging stations either. In Wyoming and other cold-weather areas, where EVs are typically unsuitable and impracticable, it is evident that this is one of the poorest uses of the monies.

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