One factor hampering widespread adoption of electric vehicles is range anxiety, brought on by the combination of long charging times and short vehicle ranges: if you live someplace where everything is a couple hundred miles away, you’re not really a candidate for an EV, at least not for your only car.
But suppose you can’t drive a couple hundred miles away no matter what’s powering your car?
A rare combination of factors makes Southeast Alaska a promising locale for plug-ins. It’s not accessible to the outside world by road — all shipments and long-distance travel come by ship or through the air. The main road running through town, Route 7, spans less than 35 miles from end to end, so there’s only so far a vehicle can travel in any one direction. Thus, range anxiety isn’t much of an issue. “I think we actually have more miles of hiking trail than roads here,” said Zach Wilkinson of the Juneau Economic Development Commission, one of the entities spearheading the local push for EVs.
While Juneau has only one charging station for now, they’re planning to add a lot more. And since almost all the local power is hydroelectric, it’s not like there’s going to be a sudden spike in the Dreaded Greenhouse Gases once those stations are in operation.