Charging stations offer business opportunity | Journal-news


Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation said it had approved electric vehicle charging station plans for all 50 states, which means phase one of West Virginia’s plan has gotten the OK from federal officials. The state Department of Transportation’s plan can now move into the solicitation phase for our alternative fuel corridors.

Electric vehicle charging stations are planned in Wheeling, Parkersburg, Ripley, Charleston, Huntington, Beckley, Lewisburg, Bluefield, Flatwoods, Weston, Morgantown, and Martinsburg, as part of phase one.

“We have approved plans for all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to help ensure that Americans in every part of the country — from the largest cities to the most rural communities — can be positioned to unlock the savings and benefits of electric vehicles,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Here in West Virginia, those communities must be ready to take advantage of the change.

WattLogic, an EV charging station installer, released a report on the benefits to private businesses that choose to add a charging station. It’s top reason was to attract new customers.

“EV drivers need places to charge and have to wait while their batteries get juiced up. Your business is the ideal place for a customer base (which tends to be affluent) to visit and spend time in. The more time spent in a business, the more likely one is to spend money,” WattLogic said.

Of course, public charging stations along major highways are not the same as those installed off the exit ramps, in our communities. But surely those in the communities who know an EV charging station is on its way are working on ways to take advantage of them. (Those community-based EV charging stations will come in phase two).

How do we — as entrepreneurs have done for generations with the buildup of restaurants, convenience stores and shopping around major interchanges — make this infrastructure change work for West Virginia and its communities? If there is one area in which Mountain State residents excel, it’s creatively thinking about new ways to make money.

Let’s not miss this electrifying opportunity, folks.

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