Energy analyst says EV charging more expensive than gas

As Illinois transitions into a more electric vehicle-friendly state, an energy analyst says the cost to charge vehicles may slow the process.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants 1 million electric vehicles on Illinois roadways by the end of the decade. According to the U.S.

Updated: October 10, 2022 - 11:35pm

As Illinois transitions into a more electric vehicle-friendly state, an energy analyst says the cost to charge vehicles may slow the process.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants 1 million electric vehicles on Illinois roadways by the end of the decade. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, at the end of last year, there were just over 36,000 EV’s registered in Illinois.

Energy analyst Bill Cinnamon said the adoption of EVs will hit a brick wall when people realize how expensive it is to charge EVs at work or at public charging stations. And charging costs will continue to escalate as the price of grid electricity skyrockets.

“If we trade gas stations for utility-based EV charging during the day, our costs to drive the car and fuel up those cars is going to cost even more than gas at $3.50 a gallon,” Cinnamon said.

Illinois lags the rest of the country in the number of EV charging stations. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the state $22 million for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations along interstate highways.

“Because of my administration’s work on the nation-leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act, Illinois stands at the forefront of the emerging electric vehicle industry,” Pritzker said.

State transportation officials have voiced concerns that a new federal initiative to create a national charging network for electric vehicles might be too impractical for rural areas. As the effort to build a network gets underway, a number of rural states are asking the Federal Highway Administration to loosen requirements for how many chargers must be placed at each location, and the distance between each station.

Cinnamon said EVs are great for the environment, but only cheaper to operate if you charge smartly.

“If you are planning to buy an EV, you should definitely charge your car at home, ideally from rooftop solar under full retail net metering,” Cinnamon said.

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