It’s winter, with high temperatures well below freezing in Jackson, Wyoming, and barely above freezing in Wyoming’s capital, Cheyenne.
Relying only on battery-powered electric vehicles in a cold climate takes courage because car batteries quickly lose their charge when temperatures are low. Yet the federal government wants to spend billions to build charging stations all across the country—including in cold-weather states where electric vehicles are often impractical.
Cold temperatures are one reason why, at the end of 2021 (the latest full year available), Wyoming had only 510 registered electric vehicles, or EVs. That’s one per every 1,135 people, compared to one per every 69 people in California and one per every 228 in Florida, according to the Energy Department.
Even so, Wyoming has been granted $27 million of the $7.5 billion that the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocates to states to build electric vehicle charging stations. That works out to over $52,000 per EV in the state.
Wyoming is turning down the funds because the Cowboy State doesn’t want to be responsible for maintaining a system of charging stations spaced 50 miles apart, as called for by the Infrastructure Act. Wyoming asked for the charging stations to be located only on smaller highways in the tourist areas close to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, but the federal government refused.…