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WYDOT hosts public comment meetings throughout the state on installing electric car chargers

Director of WYDOT Luke Reiner addresses a crowd in the Riverton City Hall about federal funding for electric vehicle expansion in Wyoming.
Taylar Stagner

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is holding a series of public meetings around the state to get input from interested parties in expanding electric car infrastructure in Wyoming. The funds come from the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed by President Biden late last year. WYDOT will be helping spend around $24 million over the next five years through the National Electric Vehicles Infrastructure Program (NEVI), but first they need people interested in building electric car charging stations.

WYDOT’s director Luke Reiner said state funds will not be used to maintain potential charging stations.

“Our goal here is to facilitate ensuring that this money gets into the hands of businesses, and so that you let enterprise free enterprise really take the lead on this,” he said

Reiner said the public talks are to see if local businesses want to take advantage of the federal funds to open charging stations for electric vehicles. Currently, there are only two superchargers in the state not including Tesla superchargers.

“So, one of the nice things about this money that's coming from the federal government is it sets the conditions for us to equip our corridors and our routes and our roads here in the state, so that people can utilize and can traverse the state using an electric vehicle,” said Reiner.

During one of the public meetings the state said that there are around 460 electric cars registered in the state of Wyoming and 350 of those are TESLA's. These numbers were contested at a public meeting in Riverton where attendees said that Fremont County had at least twice the amount of electric cars than the state said there were.

The federal funds have to be used or the money goes to other states.

WYDOT public meetings will continue through April.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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