Road Trip Snags: US Energy Secretary’s EV Convoy Faces Charging Challenges

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A recent road trip by US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm took an unexpected turn when her staff reserved an EV charger with a gas car, leading to frustration and even a police call from a stranded family.

Granholm’s four-day EV journey aimed to showcase White House investments in green energy. However, during a stop in Grovetown, Georgia, the EV caravan, featuring a Cadillac Lyriq, a Ford F-150 Lightning, and a Chevrolet Bolt EUV, encountered charging obstacles. With a broken charger and occupied spots, a staffer attempted to secure a space for the Secretary by parking a non-electric vehicle at a working charger.

This move upset other EV users, including a family with a baby on a scorching day, prompting them to call the police. Despite the outcry, the sheriff’s office couldn’t intervene as it’s not illegal to claim a charging spot with a non-EV in Georgia.

Quick to address the situation, Energy Department staff redirected vehicles to slower chargers, freeing up spots for both the frustrated family and the Secretary. The incident underscores the challenges non-Tesla EVs face on road trips, a concern recognized by the White House.

While Tesla is expanding its Supercharger network, making long-distance travel easier, other automakers are yet to adopt Tesla’s NACS charging port. Granholm acknowledged the need for seamless long-distance travel in non-Tesla EVs, emphasizing the urgency to solve this problem. Despite the challenges, resorting to ICEing, as witnessed in this incident, is not a viable solution.

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