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More electric vehicles in Idaho means more infrastructure is needed. How ITD plans to keep up with demand.

Posted at 1:55 PM, Oct 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-12 16:58:46-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Over the last decade, there has been a growth in popularity of electric vehicles (EV) across the country. Many current manufacturers are focusing on EV platforms while newer companies are completely electric.

To keep up with this trend, states will need to develop infrastructure that can match the need for charging these electric cars. Some chargers, such as the ones developed by Tesla, only work on their brand of car — getting more ports available will be key for the future electric on Idaho's roads.

“Electric vehicles are gaining popularity not just here in Idaho but throughout the nation,” said Richard Stover, administrator with the office of energy and mineral resources (OEMR).

Stover currently works along with the Idaho transportation department (ITD) and the department of environmental quality (DEQ) on the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI). This program will help ITD determine the best locations to begin rolling out infrastructure.

“We see that there is a growth in electric vehicle production and demand but we are not just going to turn the money out without making sure we have done our homework on it,” said Stover. "Right now our main thing under the NEVI program is to make sure that if we can take advantage of these funds that it’s done feasibly and economically.”

As of July 2022, Idaho has 4,508 electric vehicles registered in the state. In June 2021, there were only 2,685.

Many car dealerships are seeing the trend with more EV on the lots across the U.S. than ever before.

“I can’t tell you how many customers a week I have come in that are asking specifically for EV platform vehicle,” said Riley Surber, sales lead at Rob Green Nissan and Hyundai.

Surber sees the market trend while manufacturers continue the shift to EV. Before there are more electric cars, Surber said there needs to be enough chargers available to match the influx.

“The infrastructure has to develop first of all and that’s kind of a thing that a lot of companies are doing now-a-days especially is installing the EV chargers not only in peoples homes but at gas stations, near restaurants," Surber said.