One of the main arguments against electric vehicles are the lack of available charging stations. It’s always seemed like a silly argument to me, as anyplace with an electrical outlet can work as a charging station in a pinch. But get this; there are almost twice as many public electric charging stations as there are E85 ethanol stations. For reals.
According to a Bloomberg study, there are 4,448 public EV charging stations spread out across the U.S., serving about 16,500 “highway worthy” EV’s. They’re probably discounting the thousands of homemade EV’s, but whatever. That’s a ratio of 3.7 EV’s for every charging station.
Now compare that to the 2,468 E85 ethanol stations serving over 7.6 million flex fuel vehicles in America. That’s…a lot more cars, and a lot fewer filling stations. Most of these stations are clustered around the MidWest. Hell, there isn’t even a public fueling station available in states like my home of Connecticut.
This is one of those real head scratchers. Despite the U.S. Government having pumped billions of dollars into ethanol-supporting policies like the soon-to-expire VEETC, and despite (largely American) automakers having produced and sold over 7 million flex fuel vehicles…there just aren’t many stations that carry E85.
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has sunk millions of tax dollars into the installation of EV charging stations and implementation of electric vehicles across the country. Their goal is to eventually finance the installation over 14,000 EV chargers. I asked the question before if the government wasn’t putting the cart before the horse with so many public charging stations compared to so few electric vehicles. And now that ethanol has fallen out of favor, there are millions of flex fuel vehicles that don’t have access to an alternative fuel.
It’s madness. Total and utter madness.
Then again, it could also just be a ploy by automakers to get around stricter emissions and fuel mileage standards by saying “Look! We make alt-fuel vehicles!” Too bad there’s nowhere to fill them up. Let’s hope the same thing doesn’t happen to EV’s.