South Dakota left blank on White Houses’ alternative fuel corridor map
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Road trips, one of the biggest ways CEO of Black Hills and Badlands Tourism Michelle Thomson says people travel through South Dakota.
“The majority of the visitors that come to the area are driving,” says Thomson. “We do of course get fly-in visitors as well, but by in large the visitors that are coming here are driving, whether they’re coming in their own vehicles or bringing RV’s and such.”
And with electric vehicles becoming more popular, charging stations are needed for drivers who have ditched the gas pump.
In April, The White House came out with their Alternative Fuel Corridor map with both South Dakota and Mississippi left blank.
And in a press conference Monday, Secretary of Tourism James Hagen and Governor Kristi Noem said the Federal Government and the South Dakota Department of Transportation are working to address issues surrounding electrical vehicles.
“There are several grant programs that are out there available to different entities throughout the state especially as they relate to electric vehicles. It’s on our radar and we have a strategic planning process that’s coming up here literally in weeks, this is one of the areas that we’re going to address over the next three years,” says Hagen.
As of now, the Department of Transportation says they are in the process of identifying roads for these charging stations, such as I-90 or I-29. Once the locations are determined, the DOT and Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources plan to use money from the Volkswagen Fraud Emissions Testing lawsuit to help get those stations installed.
“Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular, more people are purchasing them and because we are trying to cater to visitation, it will be incredibly important for us to have charging stations and to be able to promote charging stations throughout the Black Hills and across South Dakota,” says Thomson.
Thomson says having these charging stations will be a huge benefit to getting more people into the community.
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