|Where Vermont charges ahead of California|
One of the most interesting facts we uncovered while working on the July issue of Shift magazine, delivered with Monday's issue of Automotive News, landed on the cutting room floor.
When it comes to the number of public electric vehicle chargers per capita in the U.S., the state with the most impressive number isn't California. The Department of Energy took a snapshot of the data in November, and first place went to Vermont. At the time, the Green Mountain State had 114.4 chargers for every 100,000 people, compared with 71.8 in the state that sells the most cars.
Nationwide, there were 104,933 public Level 2 AC chargers and DC fast chargers as of the latest count. If I'm doing my math right, based on a 2020 U.S. population of slightly more than 331 million, that's slightly fewer than 32 chargers per 100,000 people.
Week after week, auto companies are announcing ambitious EV rollout plans and setting big goals to green-up their fleets. Whether these rollouts actually pan out is an open question. But if this army of EVs does indeed arrive, the nation must grapple with getting enough hardware in place to keep those vehicles charged, a major focus of the infrastructure debate in Washington.
As you'll read in Shift, steps are underway to:
■ Determine the best places, other than highway exits, to plant chargers to best serve EV drivers.
■ Level the playing field for rural America.
■ Make charging an easier experience, through steps as simple as putting credit card readers on the machines.
We also take you to China, where some automakers, led by Nio, are turning to an alternative way to power EVs: battery swaps. And we head to Cornell University, where researchers are looking into the idea of charging electric vehicles in motion.
For the time being, for those who have the ability, the most convenient place to charge an EV remains right at home. Or maybe Vermont.