The State Of Tennessee Has More Electric Car Charging Stations Than Electric Cars


This is the sort of absurd outcome you get when markets are distorted by government subsidies. In Tennessee, the state has more government-subsidized charging stations for electric vehicles than electric vehicles (via Mark Perry):

Tennessee Department of Revenue officials estimate that at least 530 electric vehicles have been registered in Tennessee in the past two years, based on the number of buyers seeking a tax rebate. Spokesman Billy Trout said the department has issued about $1.35 million in rebates so far.

Nearly 40 charging stations are estimated in the metro Chattanooga area, most scattered around downtown and attractions such as the Choo Choo, The Chattanoogan, the Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, shopping centers and the Tennessee Aquarium. There are about 700 public charging stations across Tennessee to cater to cars such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus Electric, Mitsubishi i, Smart Electric, Tesla S and Roadster.

According to the article, the electric charging stations in Tennessee are the result of a $230 million grant from the Department of Energy to install charging stations in five states.

Clearly, that’s a quarter-billion dollars well spent.

Maybe it’s time to admit that Americans really don’t like electric cars, and that if they did they’d well without the need of subsidies.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • The Whistler

    Electris cars were invented one hundred years ago so you can understand that they need help as a fledgling industry.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I’m surprised that some enterprising copper thieves have not snipped off all those nice, accessible yellow charging cables. Especially considering how they are going unused.

    • slackwarerobert

      Are they copper? I will get right on it, chatanooga isn’t that far away. And can’t have to much copper to jacket the bullets with.

      • mickey_moussaoui

        It’s electric conductive. Either copper or silver. I doubt it is silver.

  • fred

    This is the sort of absurd commentary that comes out when you have an agenda, in this case to “prove” electric cars are not popular. If you compare 1st, 2nd and 3rd year sales (projected) against the same for hybrids you will see that EVs are doing better. It has been long recognized that many people won’t even consider EVs until a reasonable size charging network is in place. While I personally do not use these charging networks very often I can see how many will be comforted knowing they are available. As always the major auto manufacturers are slow to recognize technology but nearly all of them have seen the light for hybrids. Give them some time and they will likely feel the same toward EVs.

    • The Whistler

      I don’t recall that the government had to build gas stations before the infernal combustion vehicles were adopted. Certainly having the infrastructure was necessary, but the market took care of it.

      Throwing away a quarter of a billion dollars on this boondoggle is just unacceptable.

      • awfulorv

        Or build the interstate before there were vehicles to use it, or telephone lines before there were phones. Let’s just call it a cowardly, feel good, nanny world.

  • slackwarerobert

    But, but, but, it is good for the environment if you don’t count the soot, and chemicals poisoning the air when it burns your garage down. If they are such a good thing, why is the electric car the only alternative energy vehicle that doesn’t have a tax credit?

    Does anyone else think it strange the volt batteries, and the Boeing 787 batteries both burst into flames?

  • Sparky

    It isn’t about how MANY but WHERE the charging stations are located. Sure metropolitan areas will need more b/c of numbers but long stretches of highway without charges are the real limiting factor. Remember it isn’t always about distance along. What kind of elevation is going to be encountered? What is the temperature like? Just two factors that will determine the effective driving range. Too many hills UP and that’s an increase of power used. Too hot and the air conditioning will use power and too cold and the batteries capacity is reduced. Counting beans to come to a conclusion without actual experience is a foolish way to form an opinion.