Electric car sales are on the rise as gas prices continue to soar. Earlier this year California became the first state to hit one million electric vehicles sold in the U.S.
According to AutoPacific, last year electric vehicle sales reached almost 500,000, and this year that number is expected to rise 37% reaching 670,000.
“Gas prices are at an all-time high and whenever that happens, we always see an increasing interest in electric vehicles use and also people trying to figure out infrastructure and where they can charge and all the logistics that might come with an electric vehicle," said Meghan Field, public information officer for SLO County Air Pollution Control District (APCD).
San Luis Obispo resident, Wren Mead, has been an Electric Vehicle owner for almost four years and hasn’t looked back to gas power since.
“I would never go back; I don’t think I would ever go back. I love this car," said Mead.
According to AAA, the average cost of electricity for an EV is four cents per mile for a total of about $9 for a full charge and 200 miles. In comparison to ten cents per mile for gas, almost double the cost.
“I feel pretty smug not having to pay for gasoline," said Mead.
However, there are some obstacles. Increased EV demand means an increase in the demand for charging stations.
As part of the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project, CALeVIP, last year San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties received $12 million for EV infrastructure. San Luis Obispo County got $2.3 million, which would be enough to provide 235 new chargers, but the bigger problem now is getting charging stations into multi-family homes.
“The place where we are seeing the biggest gap is in multi-family housing. Now we are seeing apartment complexes, different multi-family housing that doesn’t really have charging available for people that live there," said Field.
APCD says another obstacle is people being afraid of traveling long distances, better known as range anxiety, because of the lack of charging stations.
“People are worried they can’t get to LA from San Francisco, so we want to be able to provide charging stations across all those major corridors in California, to make sure people aren’t scared to get out and about," said Field.
APCD officials say they are exploring options to be able to address these issues and increase accessibility to charging stations. They say they have $120,000 for businesses to install EV chargers and they are accepting applications now.
A list of charging stations across the U.S. can be found here.