DOVER — As New Hampshire drivers express interest in buying electric vehicles, advocates say there’s hope “range anxiety” — how far the cars can travel on a single charge — will soon be a thing of the past.
Roland LaRose checked out a Porsche Taycan at an electric vehicle show organized by the city of Dover’s energy commission Nov. 13.
“I’ve been interested in electric cars for my next car purchase. I think they’re cool,” said LaRose, a city resident.
LaRose said Porsche and other companies are incorporating cutting-edge technology while maintaining their brand ethos.
George Halsey, who lives downtown at the Orpheum Apartments, could see people gathered on Saint Thomas Street by the McConnell Center from his window.
He wants an electric Ford Mustang because it is “good looking” and “it’s fast.”
“I tried to get one actually, but they aren’t offering a leasing program right now,” Halsey said.
Jackson Kaspari, Dover’s resilience coordinator, said the city wanted to show off its fleet of electric vehicles and introduce residents to moving into these types of automobiles.
“I think it’s important to just spread the word to folks that these vehicles are the vehicles of the future, but they’re not there currently, and a lot of people have concerns of what it’s like to own one of these,” Kaspari said.
People have questions about putting charging stations at their homes and may still have range anxiety in New Hampshire because they don’t know about places to plug in, Kaspari said.
Joshua Singer, program coordinator for Clean Energy NH in Concord, was at the Dover event. He said in an interview afterward that it is not surprising Halsey is having a hard time getting into an electric Ford Mustang. Singer said he was recently at a conference and the dealer who was letting attendees look at one could not guarantee it could be purchased.
Due to the worldwide shortage of silicon chips and other supply chain issues during the pandemic, the auto industry has struggled to keep up with consumer demand for the electric and internal combustion engine vehicles. The global auto industry is expected to produce 1.5 million to 5 million fewer vehicles this year than originally planned, the Washington Post reported earlier this year, citing consulting firm AlixPartners.
Electric and hybrid vehicles could reach 25% of the market by 2025 because of emission regulations, according to AlixPartners. Singer said his nonprofit organization is seeing growth in the number of Granite Staters who are interested in them.
“There’s lots of options now that weren’t there even five years ago,” Singer said.
According to Singer’s data, there were 2,690 electric vehicles registered in New Hampshire last year.
In the United States, there were 1.8 million new registrations in 2020, representing 2 percent of the new car market, he said.
Singer and others are working to get more charging stations in New Hampshire so people can get over range anxiety.
According to driveelectricnh.org, there are 45,301 public electric charging stations in the United States. The sit has a map posted showing locations, and people can plan a trip online based on where they want to stop and charge up.
Municipalities such as Dover and Portsmouth have electric vehicle charging stations, but even private industry is ramping up for the transition.
Electric vehicle charging stations can be found at Whole Foods Market stores throughout New Hampshire and the region. The company has more than 200 stores with charging stations. They are constantly adding more, according to a company spokesman.
Under President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan, $7.5 billion will be spent to install half a million new electric vehicle chargers nationwide.
During his speech from the South Lawn of The White House on Monday afternoon, Biden explained what that means for Americans.
“Folks, this bipartisan law, for the first time ever, creates a true national network of charging stations for electric vehicles — over 500,000 of them — so you can charge your car here and drive all the way to California not worrying about having to find places to charge, creating thousands of jobs, thousands,” Biden said, according to a transcript from officials at the White House.
Biden, who was in New Hampshire on Tuesday talking about the infrastructure plan, traveled to Detroit on Wednesday to promote American-made electric vehicles.
Biden attended the grand opening of a General Motors plant that will build electric trucks and SUVs. He test drove an electric Hummer.