LETTER: Let free enterprise, not feds, provide electric car charging

To Ozaukee Press:

Can you remember when automobile companies produced cars that required gasoline to make their cars run and the federal government spent millions of dollars to construct gasoline filling stations so that everyone could drive their cars throughout the country?

No? Well, neither can I. Because that did not happen.

Yet in today’s world, according to Kathleen Gallagher in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “States are in a mad scramble to complete plans by Aug. 1 to get their share of $5 billion in federal funding to build our electric vehicle charging station networks on their interstate highways.”

Wisconsin could get $79 million of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program money over five years. Add Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota and the five states stand to receive a total of more than $500 million.”

Why do our federal government officials feel it is their responsibility to build charging stations. They did not build gasoline filling stations when they were needed 100 years ago, and electric charging stations should not be the responsibility of the federal government today. Where is American enterprise?

In my younger years, I learned that the U.S. economy is a free enterprise system, which means that individuals, not the government, own most of our country’s resources. Free enterprise also means that supply and demand determine how our resources are used.

So why is our federal government giving away millions of dollars on something that should be an enterprise item? As an alternative, why can’t we let entrepreneurial businesses show their true colors by supplying the electricity for the electric autos that are gradually replacing the internal combustion engine?

I would suggest we use the results of a recent survey that shows we already have established businesses, such as fast-food restaurants, that could install convenient charging stations for their customers. The top ten fast-food businesses provide us with 217,146 locations spread throughout the country. So why don’t we encourage these entrepreneurs to install charging stations so that customers can recharge their batteries while they enjoy a meal?

OK, so you don’t like fast-foods? Then take a look at hotels, motels and other overnight rest stops. Without doing a survey, we know that there are many thousands of overnight facilities. Charging overnight can easily be done with 240-volt charging units.

Better yet, you could install a Level 2 charger for about $700 in your own garage and provide 100% of your vehicle’s energy needs.

Since October 2017, I’ve been driving my Chevy Bolt EV for more than 32,000 miles charged only by my 240-volt home charger, except for only two charges away from home.

Help is available. We Energies has an electric vehicle charger pilot program to help people with the costs of charging.

Even though the entire world needs to stop burning fossil fuels, our federal government should not be in the business of providing money for building infrastructure for electrical vehicles. There should be strong enough incentives to encourage the free enterprise system to work the way it has in the past and should work in the future. There are too many other places where our government needs to spend this 5 billion taxpayer  dollars.

Let the entrepreneurs set up the charging infrastructure, earn a fair share by selling electrical energy and show us how a free enterprise works.

Wayne Stroessner

Random Lake


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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