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Is Wichita Ready For The Full Adoption Of Electric Vehicles?

Is Wichita Ready For The Full Adoption Of Electric Vehicles?

Three months ago, the Federal Transit Administration awarded Wichita $3.95 million to fund the purchase of 10 electric vans and pay for the installation of five charging stations, according to a news report by KSN-TV. Transitioning to electric public vans will replace Wichita’s in-demand public transportation options with a greener mode of transport. In a press release, Wichita Department of Transportation transit director Mike Tann said, “Switching to a zero-emission public transport fleet will help reduce air pollution in the city. Not to mention, the battery-powered vans that feature two-hour recharging ability will boost cost-savings in transit.”

While Wichita is the first city in Kansas to switch to an all electric public transport fleet, there are concerns if it’s ready for the mass adoption of EVs. Keep reading to learn how ready Wichita is for electric cars.

Electric Vehicle Rebates and Incentives  

One of the key factors limiting the adoption of EVs in Wichita is high upfront costs. Buying an electric car is expensive if you factor in the cost of installing charging infrastructure. Inflation and high interest rates are also pushing the cost of buying EVs upwards. To ensure EVs are affordable, the government is providing incentives. 

For instance, you can enjoy a tax credit of up to $2,400 if you buy an EV weighing less than 10,000 pounds. Private companies in the EV sector are also providing incentives to promote the adoption of electrified mobility. For example, Evergy is giving businesses, fleets, workplace, and multifamily properties in metro and central areas in Kansas, including Wichita, rebates to lower the upfront cost of installing charging infrastructure. 

Installation of Charging Infrastructure

Electric vehicles have the potential to redefine transportation by 2040. Unfortunately, building charging systems to support EVs is proving to be a challenge. Without access to charging infrastructure people will remain reluctant to adopt EVs. Currently, consumers have concerns regarding how far they can drive an electric car on a single charge. To reduce range anxiety among drivers, the government and private stakeholders in the automotive industry are building a network of charging infrastructure in Wichita

Availability of EV chargers in and around Wichita will promote access to fast and affordable charging systems. With advanced EV chargers like level 2 DC chargers, wireless charging systems, pop-up pavement chargers, and lamppost chargers, EV owners don’t have to worry about being stranded when their EV battery power runs out while on transit. Besides installing charging infrastructure, investing in advanced battery technologies, such as solid state batteries, is key to supporting the future of EVs. 

Increased Focus on Community Outreach Programs

Providing incentives is a sure way of encouraging more people to transition to EVs. However, there are other policies that can boost EV adoption, such as increased community engagement and education. A focus on educating consumers, for example, helps them understand the advantages of driving EVs. Community engagement also plays a significant role in ensuring consumers choose EVs. When state officials involve communities in the research and development of EV infrastructure, locals feel valued and compelled to embrace electrified mobility. 

The future of electric vehicles looks bright as more people embrace eco-friendly means of travel. While Wichita and other cities in Kansas are yet to embrace electrified transportation fully, the state is working hard to switch to greener mobility. Wichita is investing millions of dollars in electrified public vans and the installation of charging infrastructure, providing EV education, and tax incentives.


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