Philadelphia’s Fleet Of Electric Government Cars Is A Total Disaster: REPORT

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Andrew Jose Contributor
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Philadelphia’s plan to procure electric vehicles for official city business has reportedly hit a snag: Too many city workers are charging their work vehicles at the same time, clogging up the city’s limited pool of charging stations.

Public charging locations in Philadelphia are often swamped throughout the day, with long lines of electric car users and city employees waiting to access the minimal number of stations, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported. 

“It’s like, man, you got to be here 40 minutes, 50 minutes, and then you got to spend another hour here to charge,” Kevin Taylor, an Uber driver who has been driving an electric car for two months, told the news station.

“It would be nice, you know, for them to have a way to charge overnight in like their own facility,” Abe Burger, another electric vehicle user waiting for a charge, told NBC 10 Philadelphia. (RELATED: New York City’s Climate Policies Could Make Life Even More ‘Unaffordable’ For The Middle Class)

City authorities unveiled the Municipal Clean Fleet Plan in 2021, an initiative to gradually replace the city’s 5,000 gasoline-powered vehicles with electric alternatives, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.

Philadelphia reportedly has 261 electric vehicles, but only 107 charging stations to power them. However, the location of many of these chargers has been problematic: Only some are located in the parking lots of corresponding departments, according to the outlet.

Many electric vehicle chargers, the news station found, were either in fleet shops where cars go for maintenance or near city facilities where employees typically do not use electric vehicles, such as police districts and prisons, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.

Some departments, including the Licenses and Inspections Department, have no chargers in their parking lots despite having more electric vehicles than other city departments, according to NBC 10 Philadelphia.

“These charges were installed by each different department,” Dominic McGraw, Philadelphia’s deputy director of energy services, told NBC 10 Philadelphia. “I think that there was just some confusion around the need for permits, and we’re currently rectifying that.” 

“We’re figuring things out as we go and seeing what works, what works and what doesn’t,” McGraw added.