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Wyoming on developing a network of electric vehicle charging stations

Officials in the state are working on a proposal to utilize federal funds to entice private businesses to establish a network of high-speed electric car recharge stations along the state’s interstate routes.

During the following days, Wyoming’s Department of Transportation will gather public input in regards to the development of emerging technologies during a series of public conferences. It has been told that about $25 million in federal Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act will be used to provide incentives for private corporations to put up new stations.

According to a draft study conducted for the proposal, Wyoming has 456 electric automobiles and light trucks registered, as well as 11 electric motorbikes and multi-purpose vehicles. This represents less than a tenth of one percent of the state’s 653,000 non-commercial cars.

Although Wyoming has one of the lowest rates of electric car ownership in the country, the state has to improve its infrastructure to meet the demands of individuals traveling to or through the state, according to Luke Reiner, director of the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

“The focus is on the electric vehicles being purchased by people around the nation who we know want to come to Wyoming as tourists,” said Luke

There are 360 Teslas in the state, which have their own charging network that cannot be used by other manufacturers of vehicles. Aside from Tesla charging stations, Wyoming has just one vehicle charging station in Jackson and one motorbike charging station in Cheyenne.

The proposal asks for the state to coordinate and encourage the building and management of the stations, which must be erected at 50-mile intervals along Interstates 80, 25 and 90 at sites other than rest stops, utilizing federal funds.

“We’re not building or owning the stations,” said Doug McGee, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation. “It will be similar to (gas stations), in that private enterprises will build and service them.” The owners will charge a fee for using the stations after they are erected, similar to how petrol is charged at a service station.

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