EV Charging on Public Land Shouldn’t Be a Big Deal

Ben Moss, a state legislator from North Carolina, made headlines a few weeks ago. He proposed a law that would provide $50,000 to demolish no-cost charging stations on public property unless no-cost gasoline and diesel pumps were also placed there.

Let's review before we even get into the weeds of this debate. On public lands in North Carolina, there are free (likely level 2) chargers that may increase an EV's range by a few miles per hour. They are more likely at parks, rest areas, and other places where people and cars congregate. Moss is so upset by this scenario that he would rather actually spend to $50,000 demolishing these stations than allow some people to charge their cars.

Let's be honest: this is a trick to get attention. This extremely foolish piece of law was covered in dozens of newspapers. Moss could be receiving abuse from anyone who can put a few words together in a sentence, but he will win over some new supporters. These people will donate money to him so that he can win the general election, which is probably his true objective. Incite wrath, garner attention, use the anger to raise money, and repeat. In effect, it is how politics operates.

Let's face it: this is a promotional stunt. There were other newspapers that covered this absolutely foolish reform bill. Moss may face criticism from everyone who can string together a few words into a phrase, but he will gain some new fans. These individuals will give money to him in order for him to win the general election, which is probably his real goal. Incite fury, get attention, profit on the anger to raise funds, and repeat. In reality, that is how politics works.

It’s Not Fair

Everyone will raise a stink about taxes, how our taxes are used to pay for these fees, and how much electricity is being used. Remind them that not all people can or will use the services offered by taxes. Consider rest stops. In the past 20 years, I have visited maybe three rest areas. The free toilets, information, picnic tables, and, well, a place to rest are all available at these accessible roadside locations. Taxes are being paid for which I never use. It doesn't seem fair to those of us who would rather stop at a truck stop to buy beef jerky than all that electricity and upkeep be used for.

All those schools I keep seeing around town are likewise paid for by me. I am not a parent. Why should I pay for the decisions made by humans who choose to replicate?

Given all the things I pay for but never use, I could go on forever. Is it just? In fact, it is. To support a functioning society, we pay taxes. Whether we are paying too much or too little is a very different debate that, in my view, has no bearing on the case at hand.

But It’s Really Not Fair

It is insane how much ignorance is involved in requiring that a free charging station also have a free petrol station. Let's discuss infrastructure a little.

There is electricity almost everywhere. It's how we do things, and when a city is being expanded out or expanded, guess what is added to those new locations. electricity, as you probably just thought. Therefore, when a town builds a park, they guarantee that there is electricity available there for lighting, maintenance sheds, and those summer jam band events. A reasonably simple update is to install a charging point in a park's parking lot that already has electricity.

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