Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s staff found itself in hot water recently when police were called because her team tried to hold an electric vehicle charging spot by parking a gas car there – and automotive expert Mike Caudill feels the call was justified.
"Without a doubt, 100% I would contact law enforcement. There is no question about it. Electric vehicle charging stations are for electric vehicles," Caudill told Fox News Digital.
Caudill, a transportation expert and entrepreneur, believes "nonexistent" infrastructure is the biggest obstacle facing the electronic vehicle industry at the moment.
"So, when you pull into an electric vehicle charging station, there are two parts to this problem. One there aren't enough spaces for you to charge your vehicle. And the second is the more vehicles on that singular line of electricity coming in, the longer time it's going to take you to charge your vehicle," Caudill said.
"In the case of the Energy Secretary, there were only a handful of spots, and they blocked a spot so that she could get in for the photo op and talk about [the] charging station," Caudill continued. "But when people need to charge, it becomes a frustrating issue because people need to get it in charge."
A NPR story published Sunday revealed the ordeal surrounding Granholm and her four-day trip this summer from North Carolina to Tennessee which was "intended to draw attention to the billions of dollars the White House is pouring into green energy and clean cars."
Granholm's ambitious southern trip that was "painstakingly mapped out ahead of time to allow for charging," however, drew the ire of one family in particular, due to a familiar problem for electric car vehicle drivers.
After Granholm's staff realized there weren't enough charging spots for electric vehicles at a stop near Augusta, Ga., "an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy," NPR reported.
The report added a regular gas-powered car blocking the only free spot for a charger didn’t go over particularly well.
"In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved," Domonoske explained. "They called the police."
Caudill, who is a fan of electric vehicles aside from infrastructure problems, feels the family was absolutely justified in calling law enforcement on Granholm’s staff. However, NPR reported no laws were broken despite the gas car taking the electric car's spot.
"A gas-based vehicle should never be in an electric charging area. Where I live in Nashville, Tennessee, we now have four to five charging stations on each level. The parking structure and when I get to the airport, 95% of the time they're all booked," he said.
"So, you take a vehicle that needs to be charged, you have no place to charge. And there’s no bigger frustration than when you get to a charging station and there is a car currently in it," he continued. "Whether it is electric or gas, it just means you're going to have to wait."
In the end, the team arranged for the family to also charge its car while Granholm charged hers. Caudill feels it was a missed opportunity for a good story.
"The story would have been better if they just moved their vehicle out, let these people charge and use them as part of your story, like, ‘Hey, here's a family that needs to charge. Let's make them part of the story,’" Caudill said. "It would have been such a better, bigger picture for the electric vehicle movement."
The Department of Energy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Despite the ordeal, Caudill said families shouldn’t be discouraged from owning electric vehicles, they just have to know what they’re getting themselves into before taking the plunge.
"I think they're becoming more and more family-friendly. And that's what's really cool about electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are fun to drive, and they're super quiet, and they're packed with technology," he said. "But it's the charging part that is going to be the struggle for many Americans, right? How do you charge at home? How do you get fast charging at home? So, I think for the foreseeable future, an electric vehicle is actually going to serve as vehicle No. 2, not vehicle No. 1 for most families."
Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.
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