Sioux Falls preparing for electric vehicles with readiness study

Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 4:26 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The City of Sioux Falls recently announced a new framework to help guide sustainability efforts in the city.

The Electric Vehicle Readiness Study is one of the first projects the city is tackling through its sustainable framework.

Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Sioux Falls Holly Meier discussed why this was a great first step.

“One of the areas that we’re working on now that came out of the Sustainable Sioux Falls framework development is our Electric Vehicle Readiness Study. This is a new study that we are working on with a local consultant to understand this new transportation technology in our community,” said Meier.

She shared some of the benefits of supporting electric vehicles in the community.

“They’re much more energy efficient than internal combustion engines. They don’t have any tailpipe emissions, so in our community, when there are electric vehicles, they actually contribute to better air quality locally,” said Meier.

Shawn Steward, AAA spokesperson for South Dakota, shared why preparing for electric vehicles now can help for future growth.

“It’s important for cities and communities to be prepared because for EVs to be widespread, you have to have the infrastructure and the charging resources to make those realistic for the everyday person to use,” said Steward.

Steward highlighted the need to prepare, especially in South Dakota.

“Right now, there’s only about 85 charging stations across the whole state. I was looking at a map, and I think there are about 16 or so in the Sioux Falls metro area, so that’s not a lot of chargers at this point. Granted, there’s not a lot of EV’s on the roads yet, but those numbers of chargers are going to have to drastically increase if EV’s are going to become widespread here,” said Steward.

Meier shared the purpose of the study and what they hope to see in the coming years.

“We’re wanting to know what projections for Electric Vehicles in our community are for the next five to ten years. What are the impacts of those electric vehicles in terms of electricity, the grid, any safety concerns folks have, and how we prepare as a community for this newer transportation technology,” said Meier.

An Electric Vehicle Readiness Open House will be held on July 12 at the Downtown Library in Sioux Falls.