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OPINION | DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Arkansas gets a charge out of electric vehicle hype

by Frank Fellone | July 30, 2022 at 3:32 a.m.

This fine newspaper had an interesting story recently about electric vehicle chargers and the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Turns out the federal government will give ArDot $54 million to put chargers every 50 miles or so along Arkansas interstates. It's all about the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, a $5 billion effort to make a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030.

This naturally makes us think of that expression about Congress and its spending. A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon it's real money.

Enough of the cynicism. Although, to quote Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary, a cynic is merely a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.

Fifty-four million dollars seems like a lot to us, given that we are poor pensioners muddling from month to month on Social Security. And it got us to thinking. Yes, it's true, thinking is not our strong suit. Regrettably, we have no strong suit.

In any event, thinking caused us to ask Scott Hardin, spokes-dude for the state Department of Finance and Administration, for some information. This information made us do some math.

Hardin said, in response to our question, that Arkansas has 2.75 million registered vehicles. Of these, 3,064 vehicles are fully electric and 27,909 are hybrids.

We took off our shoes and figured a total of 30,973 electric vehicles. We divided that number by 2.75 million. Voila! A magnificent 1 (one) percent of registered vehicles in Arkansas are some kind of electric.

Did we round down? Guilty as charged. The full number is .01126290909091.

Perhaps our vision is faulty in more ways than one, and we cannot clearly see the future. We acknowledge that we clearly see the price of a gallon of gasoline, which currently hovers at a pound of flesh.

So we will make a mental note to ask Mr. Hardin this question again in a year, to see how fast grows the number of electric vehicles.

This just in -- this fine newspaper also has reported, via The Associated Press, that General Motors plans to go big time on electric vehicles. It has a publicly stated goal of selling more electric vehicles than Tesla, the global leader in such sales. This goal will be achieved, the company said, by the middle of this decade.

The AP reported that in 2021, GM sold about 25,000 electric vehicles and that Tesla sold 352,000. GM sold a total of 2.2 million vehicles in 2021. So those 25,000 EVs were .011 percent of its sales. That's almost exactly the percentage of EVs in Arkansas. Is this karma, or what?

Meanwhile, back at the auto parts store, we went in the other day to buy tire shine for our GM gasoline-powered truck. We love this truck, by the way.

In the parking lot were two EVs. Was this karma, or what?

Vanity plate: BSTLAWR. This was seen on a red ... Tesla.

Print Headline: EVs scarce in state, but not dough


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