Or maybe just one long extension cord

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.


  1. McGehee »

    22 July 2013 · 11:21 pm

    Of course, some of the boats are ferries of the Marine Highway, so theoretically some of the vehicles in, say, Juneau or Sitka or Ketchikan can find their way to longer roads. In fact, legislative aides often bring their cars to Juneau for session from all over the state. And then, of course, they take them back when the session ends.

    Also, Route 7 actually has several separate segments, serving places like Ketchikan and Skagway as well as Juneau — again linked by the Marine Highway ferries. At least, so the maps allege.

  2. SnoopyTheGoon »

    23 July 2013 · 3:25 am

    If you think that electric cars made the Greens happy, have another think:


    There are Greens and then there are uber-greens.

  3. Roger Green »

    23 July 2013 · 5:12 am

    Well, THIS Green is happy…

  4. Dick Stanley »

    23 July 2013 · 11:01 am

    Okay, maybe it works in Juneau, but other places with much more demand on electricity would suffer now the EPA is banning ubiquitous coal-fired plants. Good thing there’s no current (so to speak) widespread demand for electric cars, because brownouts would be the rule and visits to Dustbury would be few and far between. Not to mention being an outspoken Green could be hazardous to your health.

  5. CGHill »

    23 July 2013 · 4:14 pm

    The prevailing belief, I suppose, is that everyone’s going to charge up late at night when demand is lower. This is, I submit, wishful thinking at its wishiest.

    As for the so-many-billions-need-to-perish folks: um, you first, guys.

  6. Dick Stanley »

    23 July 2013 · 7:02 pm

    I’ll believe in Green (other than Roger) when the “Greens” start giving up their air-conditioning and refrigerators, the two biggest electricity hogs in any household.

  7. CGHill »

    26 July 2013 · 2:36 am

    Now that’s an idea. (I’m not holding my breath.)

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