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There is no doubt in the minds of many, including yours truly, that electric vehicles are the future. The piece that we’re missing, especially here in West Virginia is fast charging for EV travelers. Tesla has the West Virginia interstates covered pretty well and is adding more chargers, but CCS fast charging is virtually non-existent. And when I say fast charging, I’m thinking at least 50kW, which really isn’t all that fast in this day and age. However, it’s vastly better than a level 2 plug when you just want to grab some charge while hitting the restroom, grabbing something to drink, and getting back on the road.
Recently though, we’ve started to see some movement. At the state level, the West Virginia Department of Transportation has committed to spending some of the Volkswagen “diesel gate” settlement funds on two DC fast chargers to be installed at the Capitol Complex in Charleston and Tamarack in Beckley. I have heard that they may be operational by the end of the year and am crossing my fingers.
On the municipal front, the cities of South Charleston and Nitro have also expressed interest in adding DC fast charging to attract travelers to their locations near interstate 64.
On the commercial fast charging front, Electrify America (EA) has announced an expansion to several new states including West Virginia by 2025. No specific timeframe was announced, but it is good to see West Virginia being added to the list of states served by EA!
Last, but certainly not least, Tesla is adding additional capacity to serve travelers in West Virginia. New V3 Superchargers (250kW of power per stall now going to 300kW in the future) are being installed in Morgantown and Wheeling, near existing 150kW V2 Superchargers. I have also heard that Ripley may be getting a new Supercharger, so more options and faster charging in store for Tesla owners. I travel from Martinsburg to Charleston periodically, so a 250kW+ charger in Morgantown is a nice addition!
It’s starting to feel like West Virginia is taking some positive steps toward our wild, wonderful, and electric future!
7/17/2021 11:52:22 am
I love your blog! I’m moving from TX to Bluefield and I plan to buy a VW ID4 soon. This association and your updates have made me more comfortable with my desire to go electric in one on the least ev friendly states. Thanks!
7/17/2021 03:08:38 pm
Thank you for the kind words, Justin! Let us know on the Contact page if you'd like to have your email address added to our distribution list to hear about events and other news. We conduct many of our meetings virtually, so you can attend regardless of your location and we welcome any EV enthusiast!
8/1/2021 10:36:54 am
“It’s starting to feel like West Virginia is taking some positive steps toward our wild, wonderful, and electric future!”
8/2/2021 04:43:26 pm
Hello Tony, thanks for commenting. You are correct that there certainly areas to be improved, but my previous comment was more about CCS DC fast charging starting to see some progress in WV vs the none we have now. Please do contact the Governor's office, your state representatives, WVDOT, and the state development office and give them your thoughts on EV/solar incentives and the DMV fee and why changing the current policies would be beneficial to the state. Hearing the perspective of a new resident could be useful.
1/3/2023 08:58:27 am
A flat fee for the EV registration is not unique though. Vehicle registrations have always been flat fees, regardless of miles driven. So that argument isn't that relevant since it's not like the state is specifically targeting EVs with a flat fee.
1/3/2023 03:25:32 pm
"IMO, the bottom line is that we need a mileage based usage tax by vehicle class regardless of propulsion."
1/2/2023 06:05:50 pm
The higher fee for the vehicle registration is because WV funds road maintenance strictly from the gasoline tax. EVs don't use gas so there is less revenue for road maintenance so they want EV owners to contribute in some way, even if the vehicle registration won't itself be used to fund road maintenance.
1/3/2023 08:07:13 am
Yes, the intention of the registration fee is understood and most EV drivers support that intention. However, because it is a flat fee and not based on actual usage, it will overcharge low mileage drivers such retired folks that drive few miles per year. It also undercharges high mileage drivers such as an Uber driver in an EV for example. See my previous blog post on the registration fee here: http://www.wveaa.org/ev-blog/position-on-registration-feesfuel-taxes
1/3/2023 09:18:38 am
Replying to your second comment, if a flat fee is intended to cover usage and that flat registration fee is over and above the regular administrative registration fee that all vehicles pay, it is different. It should be a variable fee like it is for gas vehicles - more miles driven equals more tax paid for more road usage. I'll have to agree to disagree on that point.
1/3/2023 10:21:36 pm
No toll roads. The blog post I mentioned talks about using an odometer reading from the mandatory state inspection and storing that for computing miles driven per year and a credit to ICE drivers for state fuel taxes already paid. It seems we may have a difference of opinion and that's okay. This rudimentary commenting system certainly isn't the best place to debate potential solutions. We will still advocate for mileage based usage fees by class of vehicle which will eventually be required as technology progresses. In any event, wishing you a happy New Year.
1/16/2023 05:37:46 pm
First, China is a distant third lithium producer in the world behind #1 Australia and #2 Chile.
12/1/2021 11:34:29 am
Any update from locals in the Charleston and Beckley area as to the construction progress in the State House and Tamarack sites? I know the legislation was signed in August and noted that the "development underway" indicated that sites had already been chosen and that possibly ground was already broken. I live in SW Ohio and travel through WV every year for vacation and soon will be without any ICE cars.
12/1/2021 06:27:36 pm
The latest update we have received is that the CCS DCFCs in Charleston and Beckley will be operational by Q2 2022. If you look at PlugShare you'll see entries for them and a linked document showing that they were approved along with other planned sites. So, fingers crossed, they will be operational to help non-Tesla EVs to/through the state.
2/22/2022 07:03:15 pm
What is the reason that WV doesn’t has 150kw non Tesla chargers? Always a big hole in any app. Had to take a rental car from Pittsburgh to Beckley since I could not make it back with my Non Tesla EV. The Morgantown to I81 corridor needs HPC really badly.
2/25/2022 07:02:00 pm
Hello Markus, lack of non Tesla charging in West Virginia is an issue that we're hoping will be addressed in the near future. Electrify America has announced that West Virginia will be in their next phase, but that could still be a while. The WVDOT is also working to install DCFC in Charleston and Beckley, but that has been pushed back to later in 2022 at this point. There are some CCS options between Morgantown and I81 on I68 in Maryland at Friendsville, Frostburg, Hancock and at Deep Creek Lake if those are helpful. I would also suggest contacting the following state offices to voice your concern. Hearing from out of state visitors may get more attention. You can also tag them on social media.
4/10/2022 02:47:15 pm
As the owner of 2 Wrangler 4xe’s and a Polestar 2 I am thrilled to see WV adding a few charging stations. The ideal locations would be Summersville and Morgantown for the rapid (non Tesla) locations. We are behind most states but that’s what I expected and understand why unfortunately. Hopefully in the near future we have a nice network so travel outside and thru WV becomes easier.
4/10/2022 04:25:22 pm
Hello Gale and thanks for chiming in and congrats on the Polestar! I haven't seen one of those in the wild yet. We were hopeful that Tamarack and the Capitol Complex would have CCS chargers soon, but at the recent WV Expo in March we heard that WVDOT is delaying installation in favor of waiting on the new federal NEVI funds. So, a longer wait but better stations (4x150kW plugs) when they are finally installed. Tesla just opened its 12th Supercharger station (8x250kW plugs in Fairmont) and has two more planned for Sutton and Ripley this year. We keep advocating for CCS from the state or EA to have some public, brand neutral fast charging to help fill in that "West Virginia shaped hole" in the non-Tesla charging map, but it looks like it will take a big longer than hoped. Feel free to contact the following state offices to voice your concern about the lack of fast CCS charging in the state. Hearing from more EV owners may get some attention. You can also tag them on social media posts.
9/14/2022 12:05:15 am
Hey, any update on when the tamarack will be getting a charging station?
9/14/2022 02:14:45 pm
Hello, Iliana, and thanks for reaching out. The WVDOT had initially discussed having CCS (non-Tesla) charging available at Tamarack this year, but that has been pushed back due to the arrival of the federal NEVI funds. You can see the latest WVDOT NEVI plan at the following link. Tesla has the WV interstates covered and is adding more, but realistically at this point in time, I wouldn't expect anything usable on the CCS side until 2024. It is possible that Tesla may open their existing Superchargers to other brands sooner.
1/15/2023 10:11:27 am
Base on the publication of the Electric Power Annual 2021 from the US Energy Information Administration, West Virginia generates 91% of it electricity from the burning of coal. When will that change? EPA was Published Nov 2022.
1/15/2023 04:54:54 pm
Hello, Robert. Honestly, with the current political leadership, it will be likely be a while before WV transitions completely away from coal. There is some wind generation in the eastern mountains and larger solar installations are popping up, but they're still pretty small in the scheme of things. However, these are steps in a cleaner direction. Personally, I generate more power from solar than my home and EV use every year, but that was a personal choice and investment. Regardless, EVs use American made energy (you can't ship a boatload from another country!) from a variety of sources and the electricity consumed will naturally get cleaner as older, uneconomic power plants are retired.
1/16/2023 04:40:46 pm
> Regardless, EVs use American made energy (you can't ship a boatload from another country!) from a variety of sources
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Robert Fernatt - EV, solar, and coffee aficionado. Also, cat servant.