HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Governor Ivey and other state lawmakers launched an initiative this week to encourage more Alabamians to switch to electric vehicles.
It’s called the “Drive Electric,” Alabama” campaign.
Dozens of electric vehicle chargers are scattered throughout Huntsville, visible with a layer selection on this city map.
There are enough charging stations for now, but, if the Drive Electric campaign leads the masses to shift to electric cars, then there won’t be nearly enough.
One Huntsville spokesperson says it’s not necessarily up to the city to provide enough charging stations, just like it’s not their responsibility to build gas stations.
That being said, the city is open to public-private partnerships.
One has already been made with Tesla, to put 12 superchargers at Midcity; that project is expected to finish up in the next few months.
House Minority Leader and Huntsville district Representative Anthony Daniels says while the state as a whole isn’t extremely EV friendly yet, Huntsville is the exception when it comes to planning for that infrastructure.
Statewide, he says building that infrastructure will be supported by things like grants, public-private partnerships, and nearly $80 million from the president’s recently passed infrastructure bill.
“We’re moving in this direction fairly quickly. Huntsville has been out front of this particular issue for some time, now that gives us an opportunity to share that risk with the state of Alabama and draw down on some of those dollars so that we can increase not just our fleet and our opportunity, but also increase the infrastructure so a person can drive from Huntsville to mobile and have access to EV charging stations on the way,” Daniels said.
On average, the electric cars can go about 200 miles before they need a charge, and as of 2020, about 3,000 Alabamians drove them, but interest is growing, and investments are being made by companies here too.
Mercedes Benz is building an EV battery factory in Bibb County and Hyundai has plans to make electric cars at their Montgomery plant.
Huntsville spokesperson Kelly Schrimsher said the city is in talks with partners who have an interest in bringing more EV charging stations to public property.