Oklahoma EV Charging Stations: Tourism and Economic Development Opportunities
by Rayyan Aldossary
ACOG Clean Cities Intern
Earlier this month, ACOG Clean Cities Intern Rayyan Aldossary presented research regarding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure development tourism and economic development opportunities to the Oklahoma Electric Vehicle Coalition (OEVC). The research examined success of EV tourism programs the states of Oregon, Arizona, and Florida and best practices in consideration of similar programs for Oklahoma.
EV Charging Equals Economic Development Opportunities
Investing in EV charging infrastructure at community tourism hubs creates an economic development opportunity as EV drivers will seek out tourist destinations with EV charging. Drivers will spend a longer period of time at the destination (while their vehicle is charging) and will spend more money while they are there.
A recent EV driver survey revealed that 75 percent of respondents said that they almost always use services from the businesses where charging stations are located and that they spend more money at locations with charging.
Oregon, Arizona, Florida
Based on the research, the state of Oregon has one of the best available fast charging station networks in the U.S for tourism. Oregon’s EV tourism program is called “Oregon Electric Byways”, which allows any EV visitor to explore the state with many convenient EV charging stations available. The fast-charging stations are located along the byways routes at visitor attractions. The Oregon Electric Byways contain over 2200 miles of byways and a charging station every 25-50 miles. Furthermore, Oregon offers up to $5,000 in rebates for businesses looking to build a charging station.
Other states such as Arizona have successful programs as well. The Arizona Office of Tourism created the first EV visitor guide which contains resources and charging station locations to help visitors plan trips with their EV. The guide includes:
- Average temperature by season and region
- Elevation by city
- Emergency contact
- Much more
The website has a tool to help you plan your trip around available charging stations.
Drive Electric Orlando is another successful program that connects travel and tourism to the EV driver community and industry. The program offers EV rentals to visitors at airports and rental companies with rates at parity with gasoline vehicles. All the tourist attractions and businesses are within the range of a charging station, allowing visitors to charge their EV at every stop. Other amenities provided through the program include: free parking, free charging, and use of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Similar programs in the State of Oklahoma would increase tourism and revenue for businesses all over the state and Oklahoma’s small tourism businesses and communities with tourism destinations have the most to gain.
EV Tourism in Oklahoma
Clean Cities Manager