U.S. Energy Secretary’s EV Road Trip Highlights National Shortage of Electric Vehicle Chargers in Green Tech Push

By: Georgia | Last updated: Nov 17, 2023

A recent road trip undertaken by the US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was meant to promote the advantages of green technology and electric vehicles (EV).

However, the journey brought to light a significant issue facing the electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States: a glaring deficiency in the availability of EV charging stations.

Promoting Green Tech through an EV Road Trip

In an effort to endorse electric vehicles and advocate for a greener future, Jennifer Granholm and her team set out on an EV road trip.


Source: Wikimedia Commons

Unfortunately, the venture encountered some predictable hitches, primarily caused by a deficiency in the number of available electric vehicle chargers.


A Look at the Present State of EV Infrastructure

A significant concern that has emerged is the current scarcity of electric vehicle charging stations.


Source: Andrew Roberts/Unsplash

To put it into perspective, there are approximately only three electric vehicle charging ports available for every 10,000 people in the United States, highlighting an infrastructure gap that needs urgent attention.

Challenges Faced During the Journey

The journey, which stretched from Charlotte to Memphis over four days, encountered its first major obstacle in Grovestown, Georgia.


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The team planned for a brief stop to recharge their vehicles but realized there were insufficient charging ports, with one being out of order and the others occupied.

Attempt to Reserve Charging Space with Gas-Powered Vehicle

To secure a charging spot for the entourage, an employee from the Department of Energy decided to reserve a spot using a gas-powered car.


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This move, which was perceived as an ironic measure given the purpose of the trip, would soon escalate into a notable confrontation.

Rising Tensions

The situation at the charging station began to intensify when a family, also awaiting their turn to charge their vehicle, objected to the gas-powered car occupying a space.

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The soaring temperatures that day only exacerbated the heated exchange, escalating the dispute to a point where law enforcement had to be called in.


Police Intervention

As the disagreement escalated, the waiting family, who had a baby with them, decided to call the police.

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However, law enforcement found that they didn’t have the jurisdiction to act, since occupying an EV charging spot with a gas-powered vehicle is not considered an illegal activity in the state of Georgia.


Resolution and Shared Understanding

While trying to defuse the situation, Secretary Granholm and her team decided to vacate a spot for the family.

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Despite the initial conflict, the team moved some of their vehicles to slower charging ports to accommodate the family, underscoring the urgency to augment the existing EV infrastructure.


The Experience Illuminates Infrastructure Needs

The incident, which brought forth several challenges, brought a more substantial issue to the surface: the desperate need for a more comprehensive and efficient EV infrastructure in the United States.

Source: Michael Fousert/Unsplash

The current system fails to meet the increasing demand, hinting at larger underlying problems.


Reactions from Fellow EV Users

Witnesses to the incident shared their perspectives, with one bystander remarking, “It’s just par for the course.”

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This response suggests a prevailing understanding among electric vehicle users that the infrastructure has yet to catch up with the growing popularity of electric cars.


Staying Committed to the Green Initiative

The road trip encountered unexpected obstacles, yet its core objective stayed consistent: advocating for green technology.

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There’s an evident and urgent necessity to fortify the infrastructure, especially considering the projected surge in electric vehicle adoption in the near future.


A Call for Improved EV Infrastructure

This journey highlights the present condition of the US’s EV infrastructure.

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With an increasing number of people contemplating the transition to electric vehicles, there’s a clear need for substantial improvements in infrastructure to ensure a sustainable, eco-friendly future.