Future of transportation calls for improved infrastructure

6 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 3:24:00 PM CST February 22, 2018 in News
By: Jasmine Ramirez, KOMU 8 News
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JEFFERSON CITY - The future of driving lies in electric and autonomous driving vehicles according to speakers at Jefferson City's Transportation Future Summit. 

Electric vehicles are about four times less costly than gasoline powered cars said Trey Davis from the Missouri Energy Development Association. 

Davis said as electric cars become more widely used, the state must increase its number of charging stations.

"It's not just a Missouri issue, this is a nationwide issue," he said. "Your left and right coasts are still seeing challenges of meeting the needs but you definitely see there is a sparseness in the middle part of the country where we operate." 

He said infrastructure is needed to keep up with the demand. Some U.S. cities are making progress.

Kansas City Power & Light's Clean Charge Network has over 1000 public charging stations - more stations per capita than any other city. 

Even electric cars need highways and bridges to drive on. Ed Mortimer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce explained what the federal government's infrastructure plan.

President Trump wants to increase the national gas tax to 25 cents per gallon. For the average American, this tax increase is an extra $108 a year.

"It sounds like a big number and some people have choked in Washington over it," Mortimer said. "But on the other hand, the president thinks it's a good number."

Mortimer said the increase is needed for the government to keep up with infrastructure and advance the nations transportation systems. He said the roads will only get worse the longer people wait.

"Delay will just cost us more money, more time lost, more congestion and damage to vehicles," he said. "We have a lot of infrastructure in this country."

Mortimer said the federal government will hold a hearing on March 1st to further discuss the national fuel tax. 

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