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Wickenburg prepares for more electric vehicles

Historic Wickenburg
Posted at 9:40 PM, Feb 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-14 23:40:01-05

WICKENBURG, AZ — Electric car commercials during the Super Bowl were as prevalent as the number of cars traveling through Arizona highways.

The Grand Canyon State is slated to get millions to help make electric vehicles easier to own and operate for consumers.

In the town of Wickenburg, electric vehicle driver Gregory Struve is a regular at the charging station in the Town Hall parking lot.

Struve said he’s saved about $400 on gas this month which is priced around $3.60 a gallon these days in Arizona.

Before he left for his Valentine’s date in Scottsdale, the Tesla driver stopped to charge up for 15-20 minutes. He said he typically gets out of his car to “grab a bite to eat".

Some of the first settlers in Wickenburg came by wagon looking to mine gold and silver back in the 1860s.

Town leaders have found ‘electric wagons’ can be an economic driver.

"Electric vehicle charges open up the opportunity for economic development because you're marketing your community, as definitely as a destination, especially in the turn of the pandemic,” said Deputy Town Manager, Tim Suan.

Suan also happens to drive an electric car himself.

The growing trend is changing travel.

Arizona is set to get $11 million dollars for more Electric Vehicle charging stations.

The funding comes from the bi-partisan jobs act signed into law signed back in the Fall.

The goal is to create a national charging network— making electric vehicles more accessible.

In 2014, Wickenburg had four Tesla charging stations. That grew to eight in 2018 and soon even more for different types of EVs.

Back in December, the Wickenburg town council unanimously approved five charging stations for the EV company, Rivian.

The charging spots will be around the corner from the ones already in the Town Hall parking lot.

City officials tell us the Town Hall parking lot got so busy in this lot during a recent weekend there was a wait for drivers to charge their cars.

“You get a whole bunch of traffic, and that equals to people going out to eat, people buying souvenirs and things like that,” said Suan.