Dear KTFC Members & Friends:
The Pennsylvania Capital-Star had an interesting item about electric cars recently, based on nonpartisan research analysis from the Pew Research Center.
The article began with three factoids: that there are nearly 1.2 million electric cars on the road in the U.S., that purchases of electric cars increased by 81 percent between 2017 and 2018, and that California has 22,600 electric vehicle charging stations, which as you might guess, is far more than any other state in the nation.
Pennsylvania has 1,131 charging stations, with surrounding states as follows: New York, 3,205; Maryland, 1,808; Ohio, 1,115; New Jersey, 846; West Virginia, 220; and Delaware, 164. The data prompted the article’s author, John Micek, to observe “that, while the popularity of electric vehicles is exploding, it’s serious feast of famine time if you’re looking for a place to plug them in.”
Global vehicle manufacturers are stepping up their commitment to EVs, and their popularity will surely continue to increase. We have been crusading about the need to get ahead of the technology as it relates to highway funding, since electric vehicles do not remit highway user fees. It appears that we also need to pay attention to the availability of charging stations so we can keep electric vehicles moving, rather than stranded in the middle of nowhere with dead batteries.
And kudos to the Pew Research Center for calling attention to these kinds of issues.
Be of Good Cheer,
— The Wolff
TRANSPORTATION ISSUE UPDATE
- You can find the entire Capital-Star article on electric vehicles at this link.
- The Morning Call, which delves pretty vigorously into transportation issues, reported that in updating its 12-Year Plan, Lehigh Valley transportation planners were not able to include the widening of Route 22, the valley’s busiest and most congested highway, due to a funding shortage.
- Amtrak Keystone Service passengers will be happy to know that a contract for construction of the new train station in Middletown will be awarded in March. Completion of the station is expected late next year or in early 2022.
- Automated speed enforcement in work zones continues to receive significant attention as PennDOT and Turnpike officials roll out Pennsylvania’s pilot program. For now, the units are undergoing testing, and fines will begin to be levied in early March.
- Finally, on a very sad note, our deepest condolences go out to the victims and families of a horrific chain reaction crash this week involving a tour bus and multiple tractor-trailers near Turnpike mile marker 86 in western Pennsylvania. Five have died, and 60 have been or are still being treated for injuries.