The Feds may fund fantasy EV charging stations

Building charging stations to power fantasy electric vehicles no one wants in order to combat an imaginary “climate crisis”.


“Energy analyst David Wojick has a knack for cutting through the chaff and nonsense – and getting to the heart of complex public policy issues, often with a much-needed dose of humor or sarcasm,” says Paul Driessen. “In this article, he examines the Biden Administration’s plan to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, which will somehow get enough electricity in a wind and solar-driven economy to actually power up EVs when and where they need to be recharged.”

“The government could buy the land, build the stations and hire more federal employees to operate them. It could maybe even create a new government agency to operate the system. Or perhaps the charging stations could be “government owned but contractor operated” – which they call GOCO, which appropriately rhymes with LOCO, David observes.”


The Feds may fund fantasy EV charging stations

What will power imaginary charging stations to power fantasy electric vehicles no one wants?

David Wojick

President Joe Biden wants the Federal Government to build 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, at an estimated cost of around $178 billion (not including the probable need to upgrade existing local and community electrical systems, to handle the extra loads).

How might that work? Not very well, is how – especially as the country is forced to “transition” from abundant, reliable, affordable coal and natural gas (and nuclear?) electricity generation to intermittent, unreliable, weather-dependent, much more expensive wind and solar. This is truly a Fed funding fantasy.

The Feds build big stuff, like post offices, federal buildings, military bases, flood control dams and border walls. They do not build half a million EV charging stations, competing with the private sector. But just for fun let’s consider how they might try.

The simplest way is to just do it like a post office. The government buys the land, builds the station and hires more federal employees to operate them. We create a new agency, say the EV Charging Administration (EVCA), probably in the General Services Administration (GSA). It currently has a million full time employees, just like the Army. Oh wait, the Army only has 800,000.

The government buys the juice, plus snacks for the integral convenience store. No store! How do they pay for themselves? Oh, they don’t, they get an annual appropriation, just like the rest of the government, and run the national debt up a bit more. But the juice is still very expensive.

Maybe we don’t want that big an agency. So the Feds do it the way the Energy Department runs the national labs. These charging stations are government owned but contractor operated. It’s called GOCO, which appropriately rhymes with LOCO. In fact much of the Federal Government is like this. Many Feds are really branch chiefs overseeing a cadre of support contractors.

But this is still a huge, cumbersome, ongoing operation with a million or so employees (just not all Feds). The obvious alternative is to let private enterprise own and run the charging stations. The Federal Government would just fund their construction and let it go at that.

So instead we have – what, a $178 billion grant program? That is a heck of a lot of grants. So we would need a very large organization to process all the applications, pick all the winners. (Sorry, all the losers. Federal “green” energy programs always lose, and go bankrupt. So you taxpayers also lose.) That very large organization then administers the grants, whatever that means. There could be millions of applications, so we still need a huge EVCA, even for this “private enterprise.”

Who gets these 178 billion dollars in grants? A very good question! And will the grant size be $100,000 or $100,000,000 – or somewhere in between? It makes a big difference in who can apply.

One possibility is the utilities that sell the juice. After all, a big part of the cost, perhaps the biggest, will be paying the utilities to upgrade their distribution systems, so that these charging stations can work. This will be especially true in rural areas, such as along the 50,000 miles of interstate highways and hundreds of thousands of miles of other major highways. But even urban and suburban neighborhoods will need major upgrades.

Or how about having the gasoline companies do it? They already blanket the country with gas stations. In fact the charging stations could be at the gas stations, where cars already go. Plus, this way there would be lots of competition, unlike having the monopoly electric utilities do it. Mind you, giving the hated oil companies almost $200 billion in free money may be too hard for the green backers of EVs to accept.

However, some experts have opined that, since charging takes a long time, the stations should be at super markets, big box stores, fast food outlets and other amusements. Most of these places already have space for cars and some even have gas stations. Most of course have no experience pumping juice. But at least the customers would have something to do (spend money) while their cars are getting charged.

A fourth option is to give these many billions to the few existing companies that already build charging stations. They know how to do it. Mind you, they are very small and might choke on this much money.

Which leads to a fifth possibility – namely, only give these grants to teams of companies. The teaming requirement might be that they have the land, the know-how and the financial strength.

But then there’s still the pesky question of where to put all these stations? Grants should be made so as to get the proper geographic coverage; otherwise EVs will not work. Given this vast amount of free money they might get built where there is no need, such as in useless clusters, apportioned by congressional clout. Big financial losses would follow, of course, and further EV use would not be supported. But hey.

Clearly Congress will have its work cut out, deciding who to throw these enormously big bucks to, and how. And it will be a big job for the EVCA to throw it.

The basic point is that this is a stupid idea to begin with. If EV charging stations make money, then the private sector will build them.

The Federal Government has no business being in this business.

David Wojick is an independent analyst specializing in science, logic and human rights in public policy, and author of numerous articles on these topics.

Thanks to Dr Klaus Kaiser for the photo (He doesn’t know where it was taken, nor by whom.

29 thoughts on “The Feds may fund fantasy EV charging stations”

  1. Our local town government put one in the municipal parking lot to “ lure drivers off the interstate into our downtown “ . Someone used it and it caught fire now waiting for insurance to repair it. lol

    • There are 3 malls in my town that have free charging stations.
      I use them when I can.
      A lot of folks like free fuel.

  2. When they were done building some of those pyramids they marched the workers up to top of one of ’em — and sacrificed them to the gods.

    Wasn’t enough food to feed ’em after so much labor was reassigned from agriculture to these useless public works projects. That may have been the point of the pyramids in the first place– to have a pretext to lower the population.

  3. It’s really ridiculous in Canada to the point that it makes no sense.
    Our politicians are even stupid enough to stand in front of a EV power outlet that uses a diesel generator to run it in the background.
    So how is that supposed to be environmentally friendly?
    Oh, they are the ones spending the money for it and it is added to my taxes.
    Welcome to imposed technology that we pay for and have no say or choices.

  4. In the suburb where I live there are probably 150 houses connected to a single feed electricity supply.

    At 6 pm most occupants have arrived home in their electric vehicles and plugged in. Say half demand 20 kW and the result is a surge in power demand we never see at present.

    We just won’t need charging stations, we’ll need to generate 5 to 10 times the power we generate now and need to re-engineer whole cities.

    These electric vehicle acolytes are simply stupid beyond belief.

    The net result will be more emissions not less !

    And just how does replacing weak “greenhouse gas” CO2 emissions with the most powerful by a country mile emissions – i.e. water vapour from burning hydrogen -actually reduce emission “heat trapping” effects (if they have any heat trapping effect at all) ??

    So, yeah, let’s continue throwing away up to half of the energy value from fuels we extract and continue building inefficient, wasteful “solutions” to the non existent “climate crisis”.

    Actually from a Physics viewpoint there may be a negative to CO2 emissions.

    “Climate scientists” tell us that 99% of the atmosphere aren’t “greenhouse gases” , and therefore do not radiate to space (a laughable assertion) AND that ~83% of Earth’s radiation to space supposedly comes from “greenhouse gases” (again a laughable assertion) THEN adding more “powerful” radiating CO2 (again, a laughable assertion – powerful I mean) can only mean we will lose MORE heat to space NOT LESS as the percentage of the atmosphere radiating to space increases !

    AND this NASA graph shows exactly that:-

    Over the period 1979 to 2005 shown Earth is radiating more to space NOT LESS as claimed – there is NO “heat trapping” shown in this graph – if there was “heat trapping” the anomaly would be negative not positive !

    You can’t “trap heat” AND radiate MORE to space at the same time – the assertion that you can is stupid beyond belief !

    It takes a long time to heat or cool something as large as the Earth !

  5. Liberals are in la-la land. Every record cold is climate change, and every record high is climate change. Every flood is climate change, and every drought is climate change. Every day of sunshine is climate change, and every day of cloud cover is climate change. Every hailstone is climate change, and every dust storm is climate change. Every dead animal is climate change, and every insect swarm is climate change. Every dead fish is climate change and every algae bloom is climate change.
    Time to refresh my drink, but I only drink because of climate change.

  6. Obama/Biden’s Big Green Boondoggles from ten years ago… why change what’s worked before?

    With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (a shady California solar power company that received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of “green jobs” out of his latest address to Congress. But buried in the details of his latest government jobs bill released this week — Spawn of the Spendulus, Porky’s II, Night of the Keynesian Dead — are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate. After pouring half a billion bucks into Solyndra, the company filed for Chapter 11 last month and laid off 1,110 employees. Obama administration officials met with Solyndra execs at least 20 times; the green cheerleader-in-chief personally visited and promoted the company in 2009 before his administration fast-tracked approval for the loans. Solyndra is now the third solar company to go belly-up this year. Yet the Energy Department is doubling down on failure. As the FBI and House GOP investigators launch a probe into Enron-style accounting problems with Solyndra’s books, DOE is doling out more than $850 million in new loan guarantees for another California solar firm sponsored by NextEra Energy, along with nearly $200 million more for separate solar manufacturing facilities on the West Coast… nothing’s new under the sun [except it’s $178 billion this time… and billions and trillions are now the new millions]… just rinse and repeat… it’s the economic end game… might as well go-for-it… pull the goalie… go big or go home as they say.

    Meet the same boss… same as the same boss.

    The Who [not us] – Won’t Get Five-holed Again… nah, can’t happen… right in the “five-hole” over and over again!

  7. It would be great if someone could write about how electric batteries become less efficient at low temperatures and only operate at about 50% at freezing point. I’d like to know what happens at 40 below.

      • I beg to differ. I own a Prius. My efficiency drops in the winter. (No -10 to -30 degrees F here most of the time) It USES much more energy just to warm the vehicle up to drive around in….A loss of 10 to 20 mpg.

        • All cars use more energy to warm up in cold weather.
          I used to have to warm up my completely gas powered Focus for about 10 minutes when I lived in Iowa and the temps were sub-zero.

          But that’s not the same thing as batteries not functioning properly because of the cold.
          You’re using more energy to be sure, but the batteries are still providing the same amount.

  8. How long does it take to recharge an electric vehicle? Filling up with Gas only takes 5 to 10 minutes.
    I remember a huge snowstorm in Pennsylvania a few years back where cars were backed up for miles and couldn’t move. There were people on snowmobiles giving away gallons of gas to people who were getting low or who ran out. The gas was for keeping the cars running so they wouldn’t freeze to death. How would something like that work out with electric cars?

    • Just fine.
      There are loads of videos out there where people take their Teslas out and test them in winter weather.
      One is from a guy in Norway that took his Tesla out in sub zero temps and spent the night in it.
      He kept the seat warmers on all night.
      In the morning he was only down 5% on the charge.
      Car worked perfectly.

  9. My Ford C-Max plug in hybrid gets a legit 48+ mpg.
    Will go just under 600 miles on 13 gallons of gas and a full charge.
    I had a Ford Focus. Same size tank. Smaller car. Not anywhere near as solid as the C-Max. Could only get 380 miles out of a tank.

    Electric is the future.
    Don’t be afraid.

  10. I love EV’s. More reliable (one moving part vs thousands).
    Way more torque.
    Better acceleration.
    Longer lasting (Telsa’s are warrantied to 1,000,000 miles),
    Fuel distribution right to your home.

    But there’s no way that wind and solar will be able to power
    a completely electric fleet.
    But oil and nuclear sure could.

    • Fair enough.
      But realize, EVs are still on the fringe, making up just a tiny percentage of all vehicles on the road.
      We have yet to see how it will all work out when most of the driving population uses EVs. That will be the real-world test.

      • I agree.
        But the same was true in 1908 when the Model T was introduced, but within 10 years there were millions of cars on the road and the horse was on the way to the barn.

        • In comparison, the model T was much simpler than a modern EV though, mainly in the materials used to produce it, and also in function (i.e. no electronics).

  11. “The Federal Government has no business being in this business”
    “The Federal Government has no business being in business”

    There, fixed it for you.

  12. “Building charging stations to power fantasy electric vehicles no one wants”
    Actually, there is a high demand for EVs.

Comments are closed.