South Carolina encourages more residents to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) as more companies announce support and investment in the state’s EV industry.
As per a report from WIS TV, the state is now focusing on developing the workforce and infrastructure needed to support the EV industry.
At a press conference Tuesday at Dreher Island State Park in Prosperity, state officials announced the EV manufacturer Rivian is shouldering equipment, installation, and maintenance costs for ten years of charging stations on 30 of South Carolina’s 47 state parks.
EV owners can plug in for free with park admission.
Rivian VP of Public Policy James Chen said data reveals that EV-accessible routes and amenities are bringing tourism to areas across the US.
The company stated that two to four ports on each site would be operational by the end of the next year.
“That helps not only South Carolina advance in terms of EV infrastructure, but it reduces the range anxiety for our citizens and our visitors to our beautiful state parks,” Office of Regulatory Staff Executive Director Nanette Edwards said.
The announcement on Tuesday is part of a bigger spotlight that the state has put on the electric vehicle sector.
In the next five years, South Carolina will receive nearly $70 million from the Federal government through the bipartisan infrastructure law as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program. South Carolina has stated that it will spend a portion of that amount to install electric vehicle charging stations along highways and interstates, primarily focusing on rural areas.
In October, Governor Henry McMaster signed an executive order to focus efforts to attract businesses that are related to electric vehicles.
“EV is something that is just becoming widely popular across the country, so we’re harnessing that here,” Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette said. “I think that is something that if you feel passionate about, then we want to make sure that technology and the growth of that industry happen right here in our state.”
According to Rivian, the level 2 EV Waypoint plugs installed in state parks offer about 15 miles of charging per hour.
Chen says state parks are the ideal area to set up EV charging stations because visitors can plug in when they arrive and take a few hours of hiking or exploring the park taking advantage of their charge time.
The next batch of EV chargers will be installed at Devils Fork, Charles Towne Landing, Myrtle Beach, and Huntington Beach.