SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota board is seeking to add more fast charging stations for electric-powered vehicles although the state is one of several with the fewest amount of electric-powered cars in the nation.
South Dakota had 260 plug-in-only vehicles as of 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. That does not include hybrid vehicles.
The number of registered EVs that are used daily here could be lower because the state allows residents outside of South Dakota to register their vehicles in the state.
Electric vehicles are placed in the two categories of all-electric vehicles (AEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) according to the federal government. An AEV runs on a battery charged with electricity. A PHEV uses electric and then, can transfer to a fuel cell if needed. A hybrid is a PHEV.
The U.S. had one million electric vehicles traveling on U.S. roads in 2018, according to the Edison Electric Institute. It’s a fraction of the roughly 286 million vehicles registered in the U.S. in 2020.
But, the percentage of electric vehicles in the U.S. has been growing. Edmunds, an industry analyst, said electric vehicles made up 1.5% of the market in 2020. Edmunds predicted the share would increase to 2.5% in 2025.
Deloitte predicts that total global EV sales will go from 2.5 million in 2020 to 11.2 million in 2025, then reaching 31.1 million by 2030.
The South Dakota Board of Minerals wants 15% of the state’s share of the Volkswagon settlement money paid by the company for cheating on air quality requirements to help pay for more Level 3 fast-charging stations in the state.
In general there are three levels of charging for electric-powered vehicles.
Level 1 uses a standard outlet. Vehicle owners would typically use this type of charge for overnight charging at home.
Level 2 charging uses a 240 amp or 208 amp outlet. They are commercial and residential charges. Vehicles can be charged in about two hours.
Level 3 charges can charge a vehicle in about 20 minutes.
Despite having less than 1,000 EVs registered in the state, South Dakota does have multiple charging stations across the state but according to Charge Hub and Plug Share, websites that list charging stations, many are concentrated in Sioux Falls or other cities in the state.
Tesla has an extensive U.S. network of charging stations including a supercharging station at the Hy Vee at 26th and Marion Road in Sioux Falls.
The Plug Share website lists 87 charging stations in Sioux Falls or the Sioux Falls area. Several are at hotels.
Charge Hub lists 28 stations with 20 of those as free and Level 2 in Sioux Falls.
Charge Hub lists three charging stations that are Level 2 or Level 3 in the Pierre area.
Plug Share lists 97 charging stations in the Rapid City area including Rapid City, Keystone, Sturgis and several other cities.
Charge Hub lists 15 free public charging stations in Rapid City.
Advocates of adding charging stations point to Interstate 90 and Interstate 29 as logical locations.
Maps of charging stations in the U.S. often follow highway or Interstate routes.
Since each charge provides a limited amount of miles, the driver of an electric-powered vehicle will need to stop more than the driver of a fuel-powered vehicle.
A report by the University of California- Davis transportation studies department said older electric vehicles could travel at most about 100 miles between charges. New models (2017 on) can travel as many as 250 miles between charges.
An April 5 story by KELOLAND’s Bob Mercer said a North Dakota organization supported increasing the number of charging stations along I-29 in South Dakota. The addition of fast charges would create a corridor for EV travel, the organization said.
Drivers in some neighboring states have pursued EVs quicker than in South Dakota.
Minnesota had nearly 13,000 EVS in February 2020, according to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Iowa has about 1,200 battery or all-electric vehicles and 2,000 plug-ins, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Minnesota and Iowa are two of the top states that contribute to tourism travel in South Dakota, according to South Dakota Tourism. From 2016 to 2018, 125 of the state’s leisure visitors came from Minnesota and 8% from Iowa, according S.D. Tourism.
An overwhelming 96% came by vehicle.