As a recent EV owner, I personally have no interest in the presence of stations in Columbia. I charge my car at home. It is cheap and convenient. I am concerned about where I can charge when I am traveling, as it makes an important consideration when I leave town.
I expect to plan trips around charging stations. I can easily drive 200 miles, or more, on a single charge. When I stop, I will be looking for a place to grab a bite or otherwise spend the 10 to 20 minutes it takes to charge, so that I can make the next stop. I look for stations that have amenities close by and that are not far from my planned route.
Electric vehicles are in our future, and they will only continue to become more common. It takes a little longer to charge than to fill a tank with gas, and travelers are going to be looking for ways to pass the time while the vehicle charges. A wise merchant and community will be thinking about this now. Charging stations that are far from highways and with no conveniences — not to mention bathrooms — won’t attract consumers. Those offering services will.
Dean Lasseter is a Columbia resident.