RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – More Virginians are expected to get behind the wheel of electric vehicles as pressure to reduce CO2 emissions builds.
President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Bill, signed this week, aims to accelerate efforts to expand charging stations.
The environmental benefits and lower travel costs led Julius Alexander to buy his electric vehicle in 2013. A full charge at his home station, which takes about five hours, allows him to travel 250 miles at about seven cents per mile.
Alexander drove from Connecticut to Richmond on Friday to an event hosted by Dominion Energy to inform drivers of the move.
“It has changed dramatically. When I first got my car, the only place I could drive from Connecticut was Boston and Washington DC, ”said Alexander.
Since then, charging stations have become much more common, Alexander said, but access remains a challenge, especially in rural areas.
“Virginia charges more every day, which is great, but there are still some loopholes,” said Kate Staples, Dominion electrification manager.
US MP Abigail Spanberger’s office estimates that Virginia would receive $ 106 million over five years from investments in federal infrastructure to expand its charging network. Virginia will also have the option to apply for the $ 2.5 billion grant.
The Virginia General Assembly is trying to increase supply by asking manufacturers to deliver more electric cars to dealers from model year 2025.
“We heard from dealers that they are seeing unprecedented demand for vehicles and supply is low,” said Staples.
Another move in state lawmakers introduced a rebate program to reduce the cost of vehicles, but lawmakers didn’t keep it funded.
Meanwhile, Staples said Dominion is making its own investments and incentivizing individuals and businesses to set up their own charging stations.
“We really believe it takes everyone to get us the network we need,” said Staples. “Traffic is the largest source of emissions in Virginia.”