Editorial summary: South Dakota | South Dakota News


Yankton Press & Dakotan. November 22, 2021.

Editorial: Yankton Electric Vehicles and Passenger Cars

Tourism is a vital component of the Yankton area economy, and it’s not just about having the lake area and all of those campgrounds available to you. It can also refer to countless related elements that can enhance the visitor experience.

With that in mind, let’s discuss an item that will become a need for the community in the future: an electric vehicle (EV) charging station, a publicly accessible place where people using electric vehicles can recharge their batteries for travel. .

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The concept of electric vehicles has always been a seemingly distant sight, especially in rural areas like South Dakota, where distances between communities are greater and, in the past, electric vehicles may have seemed so small. practice.

But it’s clear now that electric vehicles are part of a future that is getting closer every day.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced pressure to have half of all vehicles sold in the United States by 2030 to be electric. However, some companies are already on this path. Ford on Friday announced plans to increase its production of electric vehicles to 600,000 by 2023, with a target for between 40% and 50% of its sales to be electric by the end of this decade. Others follow suit. According to NBC News, the transition to electric vehicles “is accelerating rapidly. As the 2021 model year ended with just over a dozen long-range battery electric vehicles available to U.S. motorists, industry analysts expect that number to rise to over 50 by the end of next year.

The same acceleration is also happening in world markets. This means that American automakers will have to meet this international need as well as the domestic market.

Certainly, there is still a lot of money to spend and a lot of work to do before electric vehicles become the dominant vehicles on our highways. And while that happens, the technology will continue to evolve. So there is still time to meet the demand for EV locally.

But the transition is happening now, and it wouldn’t be Yankton’s worst idea – whether public or private – to start thinking in that direction.

South Dakota currently has several electric vehicle charging stations, many of which are clustered around Sioux Falls and Rapid City, according to the US Department of Energy. This makes sense, given their urban environment and their place on state highways. There’s also a handful scattered along Interstate 90 running east-to-west across the state, which also makes sense. The closest to Yankton is located in Vermillion.

So, given the one million and more visitors that the Lewis & Clark Lake area attracts each year – it’s South Dakota’s most visited destination outside of the Black Hills – this will eventually become, if not a need, certainly a need. attractive feature for those who travel in electric vehicles. .

This is a very broad overview of a more complex subject. There are currently four types of connectors, and Tesla vehicles need their own special stations. Meanwhile, residents can purchase their own vehicle chargers for home use. And this is only for beginners – and everything is subject to change in the years to come.

Yankton should start planning for this eventuality. Maybe a private party will get involved. (The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources is currently seeking applications for the second cycle of the Volkswagen Electric Vehicle Charging Station Program, which aims to establish more lightweight electric charging stations in the state. ) However, if the private parties do not. step forward, it could be something the city could consider setting up, possibly selling it to private interests at some point.

Again, this is not an urgent need for a very immediate future, but it is a recognition of a future that is moving towards us, literally, which means it will become an important item for those who visit. Yankton.

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