More electric vehicles hitting the road for the busiest Labor Day weekend in years

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 5:27 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Millions are hitting the road for Labor Day weekend. AAA expects it to be the busiest Labor Day weekend since the pandemic.

A drop in gas prices is also good news for drivers taking road trips over the long weekend, but electric vehicles are gaining more popularity than ever.

But the question is, are there enough support for electric vehicles so drivers can make it to their destinations?

The City of Tucson says the answer is yes. Right now, there are around 65 charging locations across Tucson, but there’s plans for more.

“We want to make sure that Tucson is equipped to support this move to electric vehicles in the future,” said Planning Administrator for the City of Tucson, Koren Manning.

The City of Tucson says they’ve seen a dramatic increase in drivers switching to electric vehicles, especially with high gas prices over the summer.

Because of this increase, Mayor and Council adopted a change to zoning regulations to support EV drivers.

″It will be a requirement for all of those new commercial sites that there is a minimum level of EV infrastructure so that those parking lots have EV capability and people can feel confident that if they want to make the switch to an electric vehicle, there’s going to be stations for them to use across Tucson,” Manning said.

It’s something the city is already seeing take effect. Most of the new hotels in Tucson have already added EV outlets because of customer need. And with a rise in travel, Tucson is ready for the tourism rebound with electric vehicle capabilities.

″It is a pretty big-ticket price and so you have to be willing to make the investment and you have to do it for a couple different reasons. one is the environment and the other is an alternative to gas,” electric vehicle owner Michelle Meyers said.

She’s only had it for a couple months and this is her first road trip with an EV. She was concerned at first that there wouldn’t be enough places to charge up.

″I called ahead to the hotel to make sure they have a charging station, which they did they actually had two. I think it’s becoming more and more common so more and more places are doing it, but I was worried if I got down here if I would be stranded,” she said.

Right now, there’s not a set number for how many charging locations we’ll see pop up in Tucson the rest of the year. But the City of Tucson says they will be reevaluating things like changes in technology and cost to continue supporting electric vehicles.