Electric vehicle drivers say more quality car chargers are needed

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:57 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Electric car drivers said there wasn’t enough level 3 or ‘fast chargers’ throughout the state of Iowa and when they did find one, sometimes they didn’t work.

“All these years, I’ve been driving my {Nissan} Leaf, but never been able to take it on a trip,” said Marc Franke of Ely.

Ely has been driving his electric car for 10 years but only through the 380 corridors.

“It’s an older car and probably only stays charged for about 71 miles,” he said. “Also, the level three charging network is not all that good.”

The Iowa DOT said it was still working to disperse $51 million of grant funding that was made available through the “Infrastructure Law”. Garrett Pedersen is the Iowa DOT Assistance Planning Bureau Director. He said they were currently collecting information from companies on how to best administer the money.

“This is a brand-new source of federal funding,” said Pedersen. “It didn’t exist previously, so state DOTs were figuring out how to best use the money. The hope is to announce the first rounds of funding this summer.”

While Franke waited to see how the program falls into place over the next several months, he said he also wanted to make sure the public money was wisely spent.

“If they’re going to divvy out this money, the companies should have to sign some type of agreement that says they’ll pay back the money if they ever get audited and it’s found that half the machines didn’t work.”

Pedersen said the program would focus on major interstates first: I-380, 80, 35, and 29.