ATLANTA — We are seeing more electric vehicles – or EVs – on the road than ever before, but the federal government would like to see many more.
The Biden administration wants EVs to make up at least 50% of new car sales by 2030.
In 2022, J.D. Power estimated the number of EVs on the road is at roughly 8%.
Corona and the team drove from midtown Atlanta to Panama City Beach, Florida. It’s a trip estimated to take about five hours in a gasoline-fueled car.
Channel 2′s Wendy Corona and a team of producers and photographers took three new cars on the road to test whether Georgia’s charging network could handle a switch to all EV.
The gas-powered Nissan was expected to make the 296-mile trip without stopping for fuel. The team also rented a new Tesla.
According to the navigation screen the model was estimated to last 348 miles on a full charge.
Corona drove a Chevy Bolt. The Bolt estimated a 259-mile trip on a full battery.
All three cars left the WSB-TV studios in midtown Atlanta around noon. Passengers in each car tracked drive time, charging time, and subtracted time for food or restroom breaks.
The trip started as planned. The Bolt stopped in Columbus to charge up. It took 50 minutes.
The Tesla was supposed to drive until Dothan, AL but that changed mid-trip. Tesla’s navigation system added a stop sooner, also in Columbus. However, thanks to Tesla’s network of superchargers, the charge time was only 15 minutes.
The lack of fast-charging EV chargers is something the government is trying to fix.
This year, the Biden administration announced Tesla will open up thousands of its supercharging stations to drivers using its competitors’ EVs. The company plans to free up 3,500 stations by 2024.
Corona asked Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp about expanding the network of chargers during an event at Tallulah Gorge State Park. Georgia is partnering with EV companies and Georgia Power to install more stations across the state, including state parks.
The governor told Channel 2 Action News that he has no plans to persuade Georgians to drive electric saying, “That’s an individual’s decision to make.”
Instead, he aims to provide an economy and workforce to make it possible.
“It’s the company’s decision to figure out what the market is and to market to the consumers and to sell that vehicle,” Kemp said.
AAA is also preparing for the future of EV. Right now, the company carries dozens of batteries for fuel vehicles but is learning how to assist EV and hybrid drivers through education and extra training.
An employee told Channel 2 Action News they will not touch Tesla models. The company has its own service.
If a Tesla customer calls AAA, they kick the call back and tell the driver to call their manufacturer.
Back on the road, the Channel 2 Action News team of drivers closed in on the final destination not too far from each other.
The fuel car arrived in Panama City Beach in 5 hours and 18 minutes. The Tesla arrived 30 minutes later. However, the Bolt took much longer. A grand total drive time of 7 hours and 18 minutes.
If you are considering an EV or hybrid vehicle, Georgia has a tool to consider your options. It figures annual gas or charging expenses for various cars depending on your driving habits.
Check it out HERE.