Woman talking(l+r), Electric car recharge station(c)


‘Where’s the free gas pumps?’: EV driver complains about free charging stations. It backfires

‘My taxes shouldn’t charge your EV’


Grace Rampaul


Posted on Apr 18, 2024   Updated on Apr 25, 2024, 9:17 am CDT

Amid a global push for sustainability and cleaner air, electric cars have taken over the market. No longer is it just the Californians or Prius-owning hippies at the farmers market who have taken a stance. 

Rather, large car manufacturers, such as Nissan, Ford, Honda, and even Bentley have even dabbled in the EV (electric vehicle) industry. And as a result, it’s predicted that EVs (electric vehicles) could make up to 70% of the cars on U.S. roads by 2050. 

So in preparation for this national turn-over, large cities have begun preparing their roadways for these silent environmentally conscious cars through installing public charging stations. Atlanta, for example, has already installed over 1,665 free public charging ports within a 15-kilometer radius of the city to get ready for the influx. 

Yet, of course, such large change is bound to come with some technical difficulties. This is exactly what TikToker Lisa (@carbonizedhorse) experienced. 

With a goal of “sharing [her] journey as an electric car owner,” Lisa uses her platform to do exactly that. And in a video posted recently, Lisa gained more than 16,200 likes and 707,900 views after explaining Atlanta’s newest error. Unfortunately for Lisa, after posting the viral TikTok,  she was not met with the most understanding audience. 

“The City of Atlanta has spent all this money putting free chargers around the city,” Lisa informs her audience. 

“[I was] so excited to use them,” she continues. 

Then as she gets out of her driver’s seat, Lisa walks toward her charging port, making sure to open it and point it out. 

“I’m parked right by a free charger, guess what the city of Atlanta did,” Lisa asks. 

She brings her phone close to her face. 

“They repaved the street,” she says.

Lisa then begins to walk across the street, across the newly paved bike lane, to the charging station. According to the video, the city of Atlanta allegedly forgot about charging port accessibility, and blocked these entirely by a series of new bike lanes.

Standing on the other side of the street, Lisa grabs the charging cable. 

“Now nobody has access to these chargers,” Lisa says. “What the heck.”

Holding the cable, Lisa points it toward her car, roughly 15 feet away and jokes:

“Uh it’s not gonna reach,” Lisa concludes.

Quickly, viewers flooded to the comment section to leave a series of comments that Lisa may not have entirely been expecting. From statements about taxpayer money and the unfairness of “free” charging stations in comparison to gas rates, it was clear that her video did not reach her target audience. 

@carbonizedhorse I guess bike lanes are more important than car charging – we need both Atl 🚴 🔋 ⚡️#ford #Mustang #machE #car #carsoftiktok #EV #Electric #charger #free #Blocked #Fail ♬ Wah Wah Wah Wah – Off The Menu

“So just because you spend 60K on a car means you get free energy for it [?],” One commenter asked. 

And with the average price of the electric vehicle running at about $53,758 in the United States, this commenter wasn’t wrong. However in 2023, the average sales price for a new car was $47,331, which could still be considered a lofty price. 

Now this isn’t the first the Daily Dot has heard about non EV drivers feuding with their counterparts.

Just last month, culture writer Braden Bjella covered how one Tesla-driver invested in  a “Karen lock,” to stop people from unplugging the car. A seemingly common occurrence for electric car drivers. 

Of course this, alongside the ill-commentary received by Lisa may stem from just  a dislike for these drivers, but rather for the EV industry as a whole. Many find that the hassle of charging EVs ruins the appeal, and the high-costs simply add to the disenchantment. 

 So while EV sales are only expected to rise, we have yet to see how people, and cities, such as Atlanta, intend to keep up. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Lisa (@carbonizedhorse) for comment via TikTok Direct Message.

Update April 25, 9:17am CT: In an exclusive with the Daily Dot, Lisa gave an update on the EV car charging catastrophe after her video went viral:

“I read that Atlanta received a federal grant of $6 million to install chargers around Metro Atlanta. I do not know where or when this project will begin.

I went to another one of those chargers around the corner to use it, but two cars were occupying the EV spots and were NOT charging their cars – which is equally as frustrating to me. Atlanta does enforce street parking but, I feel that no one enforces the EV spots. Of course, there may not be laws written for that yet in GA. I travel quite frequently to Florida and there are laws in place to enforce EV parking.

Also, these two charges that I am referring to are directly beside Atlanta City Hall. Parking is extremely limited and now more parking has been reduced around the city because of the newly installed bike lanes.

No one has reached out to me from the city.

I absolutely love owning an electric car. I have been obsessed with them ever since seeing the first Nissan Leaf being introduced in 2011 at Atlantic Station. They set up a small test drive road course event and I couldn’t stop thinking about owning one. At the time, the car was way out of my price range and they only went 100 miles on a single charge so, it wasn’t very practical for me.”

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*First Published: Apr 18, 2024, 11:00 pm CDT