Energy Secretary Gains Firsthand Experience of EV Charging Challenges During Road Trip

September 18, 2023 10:56:06

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm experienced the challenges of public electric vehicle charging firsthand when she set off on a four-day road trip using an electric car. America is jumping headfirst into electrification, along with plans to invest billions of dollars in accelerating EV adoption and building out a nationwide network of public charging infrastructure.

However, the country’s public EV infrastructure can barely support the current number of electric cars on the road. Most charging stations are concentrated in California and other urban regions and are often unreliable, leading to a poor charging experience for many drivers. Although EV owners can install private electric vehicle chargers, those can be costly and require dedicated space, such as a private garage or driveway.

Granholm’s recent EV trip from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Memphis, Tennessee, was meant to illuminate the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to invest in electrification and renewable energy. The White House has invested $7.5 billion into developing a network of public chargers and is set to spur more than in EV, EV battery and EV charging infrastructure development.

If the administration achieves its electrification goals, the country will be one step closer to achieving carbon neutrality. This will require a major overhaul of how public EV charging infrastructure functions, especially in terms of reliability. EV owners often have to deal with issues such as nonfunctional chargers, long wait times, broken screens, and cords or plugs with connectivity issues.

Furthermore, most public charging providers require that drivers use specific apps to access their chargers, forcing many drivers to download apps and create accounts every time they pull up to an EV charging station. Granholm and her entourage of electric cars experienced these challenges firsthand on their trip.

There weren’t enough chargers to recharge the caravan when it arrived at a charger in the Augusta, Georgia, suburb of Grovetown. One of the four chargers in the station was broken and the remaining two were in use, forcing one Energy Department staffer to try and reserve a spot by parking a conventional fossil-fuel-powered car next to a functional charger.

This displeased one of the waiting families so much that they called the police. Although law enforcement couldn’t legally do anything, Granholm’s team had to shuffle some vehicles to the slower EV chargers to give both the secretary and the frustrated family a chance at the fast chargers.

Compared to refueling a conventional internal combustion engine vehicle, EV charging can be extremely taxing, frustrating and time consuming. This has undoubtedly prevented many drivers from switching to electric cars. Making America’s public charging network as extensive and reliable as the country’s gas refueling network will be key to supporting mass EV adoption.

Automakers such as Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are acutely aware of the existing barriers to EV adoption and are working to come up with innovations that will address the concerns of the public and accelerate the switch to EVs.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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