The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and owner of a hybrid minivan made this admission in an interview. "Imagine what it would be like if you couldn’t be sure when you pulled into a gas station that you’d actually get gas out of it," he said.
According to Buttigieg, he is no stranger to the frustration of unreliable EV charging equipment. He even recounted one such incident that happened to him days before the interview. Buttigieg saw an open parking spot for an EV charger in his hometown, but later discovered that the charging unit wasn't working.
"Getting a reliable charging network in place underpins the transition from gasoline to electric," said the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). "If drivers can't find public chargers, they won't buy EVs." (Related: Electric vehicle entrepreneur struggles to find charging station for his car during road trip.)
Based on government data, there are around 150,000 public charging ports available. Most of these charging stations do the job over several hours, but only around 34,000 – roughly 22 percent – are fast chargers that can do the job between 20 minutes and one hour.
Brent Gruber, executive director for EV practice at consumer intelligence firm J.D. Power, said nearly half of prospective EV drivers cited a lack of public chargers as the top reason they decided against a purchase. Given this, the U.S. government has announced a $100 million effort to "upgrade" public EV chargers.
The money for the effort will be taken from the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed in 2021. It will aim to fix more than 6,000 existing chargers tagged as "temporarily unavailable" in a widely used government database.
"This is about making sure that access to charging is as reliable as access to fuel is today for gas cars," Buttigieg said of the endeavor. "We know that that’s not just a question of quantity, but also one of quality."
Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm finds charging her EV a little easier. A Sept. 12 report by Breitbart outlined how one of her staffers driving a gasoline-powered car blocked the public EV charging hub at the Grovetown suburb in Augusta, Georgia. Audio of a 911 call regarding the incident was released, with the female caller accusing the driver of preventing others from charging their respective electric cars. "
"I'm calling because I'm in the Grovetown Walmart at the [EV] charging station, and there's literally a non-electric car that's taking up a space," the caller told the 911 dispatcher. "[The driver] said they're holding the space for somebody else, and it's holding up a whole bunch of people who need to charge their cars."
"There are other people who are waiting to charge and they're still here; they're not in electric cars. The sign says you can't park here unless you're charging," she continued. While a police officer eventually responded to the call, no police report was ever filed.
According to NPR, the vehicle that blocked the charging port at Grovetown was part of an advance team for Granholm's convoy. The energy secretary had gone on a four-day road trip using EVs from North Carolina to Tennessee.
"Her advance team realized there weren't going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station's four chargers was broken, and others were occupied," the outlet wrote. "So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching energy secretary."
Head over to FlyingCars.news for more stories about EVs and the difficulties that come with owning them.
Watch Next News Network's Gary Franchi explaining why some states aren't happy with the Biden administration's nationwide EV charging network.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.