Wyoming Gas Station Hesitates To Install Subsidized EV Chargers
The federal government is sending money to each state for charging stations for electric cars.
Wyoming was allocated $3.9 million in 2022. There is a promise of another $5 million each year for the next four years. In the end, Wyoming will have received $23.96 million for EV infrastructure.
Funny, gas stations were never subsidized like this.
On Thursday's Wake Up Wyoming radio show I got a call from Lee. His parents own the gas station in Kaycee, Wyoming. It's a family-run business and an important gas stop for travelers on that long stretch of 1-25.
Lee told me that WYDOT had approached them about putting in an electric charging station. Money was offered.
The Wyoming Department Of Transportation would like the Kaycee gas station to have 4 chargers.
They estimate it could cost $500,000 up to $1 million a station. The high price, in part, is because they want to install the faster chargers that can top off the batteries in about 15 minutes.
Those were the only numbers that representatives of the state had available to them at the time.
Lee and his family had several questions about this process.
How much is this going to cost us to put these units on our eclectic bill?
It seems there is no answer for this one at this time. The representatives from WYDOT had no idea.
How many customers a day would the station get?
The estimate was .3 a day. That's not 3 a day but POINT 3 a day. And even this fraction is an estimate. So that's one person every three days... Maybe.
The gas station was built there by Lee's family because, being the only opportunity for gas on such a long stretch of road, they knew it would be profitable in that location.
I asked if they have ever considered installing electric charging stations on their own.
They had looked into it, he said, at their own costs. But it was just not worth it. The system would operate at a loss for them.
What is the estimated lifespan of the charging station?
The charging station is estimated to function without repair for 5 years. The government would pay for the installation of the station. But the cost of upkeep or replacing a charging station would be up to the owners of the service station.
Lee worried about getting someone up to Kaycee to fix a broken charger. When one failed and needed repair it might be a while before a serviceman could get to them, considering where Kaycee is located.
At this point, I can see charging stations being installed, but then running into disrepair over time and not being fixed because they are operating at a loss.
The federal government wants charging stations every 50 miles. WYDOT has made the case that every 50 miles is not possible in some parts of the state.
The federal department of transportation doesn't want to hear that. They want those charging stations even if it does not make sense in a state as rural as Wyoming.
Lee later contacted me with a few more thoughts on the issue:
Another detail I forgot to share was the government knows how many electric cars are in each state for example they told us there was under 200 in Wyoming.
So they know how many electric cars are in Wyoming they can do the math enough to anticipate how many customers we will get a day from electric cars which is .3. But for some unknown reason they can’t do simple math about how much it’ll cost to build maintain and replace each station how long they will last and what they will cost us and the government!
Another interesting thing I thought you would like to know is there is a guy in Sheridan Wyoming who has started his own electric car company and he is going to put a very large warehouse in Sheridan to build his electric cars and he approached us as gas station owners to come in and put in a four station charging port for free and he would pay for upkeep he would pay for maintenance because people would be using his electric car charging stations for his cars.
Now I couldn’t the state of Wyoming give a portion of the $24 million to this guy say 1-4 million as a start up and possibly invest so they could make money back on the money they spend. as he will be creating jobs and creating opportunities for the electric car industry.