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Axios: The EV is not ready for prime time

What a journey from Michigan to Florida reveals about range anxiety and the electric vehicle

“Range anxiety” is often cited as a top fear among would-be buyers of electric vehicles. An Axios report, chronicling a trip from Michigan to Florida in an EV, shows those fears to be justified. Axios writer Joann Muller declared the 1,600-mile trip “entirely doable — but not without its challenges.”

Even when people like the idea of buying an EV, a top-of-mind question is: How far can I drive without needing to charge up? Every vehicle needs to refuel, but gas stations are ubiquitous in a way EV charging resources are not. At least not yet.

That’s why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has sought $65 million in the 2024 budget to build more EV charging stations in Michigan, as the state hopes to reach 2 million EVs on the roads by 2030. The starting point in that journey was 17,500 EVs in Michigan in 2021.

Muller earlier this month announced that she and her husband Bill would work remotely in Florida in February, as they were “sick of winter in Michigan.” Fair enough.

The trip would take place in two legs. The first was Michigan to Washington, D.C., driven by Bill. There he would meet Joann, and they’d drive down to Florida. They would drive a Kia EV6. Since the Kia “doesn’t have a built-in charging planner in its navigation system,” the family had to hunt up those resources themselves, using several apps.

Some numbers might jump out at you:

  • The Kia EV6 is “among the fastest charging EVs today,” at 18 minutes. How long does it take you to gas up?
  • “EVs account for about 5% of new car sales, and just 1% of all cars on the road,” per Axios.
  • “The federal government is investing $7.5 billion in new charging stations, mostly along highways,” per Axios.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.