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'It's helpful': I-16, I-75 electric charging stations coming soon to Georgia

This week, Georgia received federal approval for this project and $130 million to pay for it.

MACON, Ga. — Electric vehicles are making more appearances all over the State of Georgia.

That's one reason why the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning to drop new charging stations up and down state highways like I-16 and I-75.

Thousands of drivers go up and down I-75 every day.

Some of those cars are hybrid models and some are fully electric.

Those models are soon going to have many more places to charge up.

"I had a Jeep Wrangler and this is so much easier to get around," Erika Denhart said.

Denhart bought her Tesla four months ago. She says there is a need for more charging stations.

"Telsa's are selling out. There's a very long waiting list, and there are more EV cars being made every single day. So, like all the charges are starting to get maxed out," Denhart said.

This week, Georgia received federal approval for this project and $130 million to pay for it.

So, now, the state can start designing the stations.

"Carrollton is like a medium sized town and we don't have one, so hopefully, hopefully soon," Denhart said.

Mark Viehland bought his Tesla about a year ago and is considering buying another electric car soon.

He says the additional charging stations will encourage him and his wife to travel out of Tampa more often.

"There are enough Tesla charges along the interstates, but I don't think there are enough non-Tesla charges. So, it'll encourage more people to buy more electric vehicles and travel more," Veihland said.

The state says, eventually, they'll place a charging station every 50 miles off I-75, I-20, I-85, I-16, and several other highways.

Those stations will be less than one mile off the exit and open to the public 24 hours a day.

"My friend rented a Tesla; and she actually ran out of charge on the side of the road. So, it would definitely be helpful," Denhart said.

13WMAZ is still working to find out which I-75 / I-16 exits are going to get a station.

Each station must have at least four ports that can simultaneously charge all types of electric vehicles at 150 kilowatts.

That's according to Georgia Department of Transportation Director of Strategic Communications Scott Higley.

Higley also says, "Georgia currently has approximately 30,000 registered EVs and that number will only grow as adoption of this technology continues. Additionally, the corridors have been selected because of high traffic volumes and are primary routes through the state. There is a need in Georgia for the establishment of such a charging network and that need will only continue to grow. Every 50 miles is a requirement of the administration to achieve the goals of building a national network and reducing “range anxiety” (the fear of running out of charge away from a charging station) among EV drivers."

The Federal Highway Administration approved 34 other states to take part in this electric vehicle plan.

In total, they authorized nearly $5 billion nationally over the next five years.


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