Listen to 911 Call From Frustrated EV Driver, Who Admonishes Jennifer Granholm Aide for Hoarding Charging Station

Georgia driver says energy sec's team held up 'a whole bunch of people who need to charge their cars'

September 12, 2023

An electric vehicle driver in Georgia admonished Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm's staff for using "literally a non-electric car" to hoard a space for Granholm at a busy public charging station, according to a 911 call obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

"Hi, I'm calling because I'm in the Grovetown Walmart at the charging station, and there's literally a non-electric car that is taking up the space, they said they're holding the space for somebody else, and it's holding up a whole bunch of people who need to charge their cars," said the caller, who had a baby in her car at the time.

"There's other people who are waiting to charge, and they're still here, and they're not an electric car, and the sign says you can't park here unless you're charging," the caller continued. "They said that their person is going to be here in two minutes that they're holding the spot for."

The audio sheds light on an embarrassing situation for Granholm, which occurred during the Biden administration official's June electric vehicle promotion tour.

Granholm during that tour drove an EV from South Carolina to Athens, Georgia, planning to stop at a public charging station outside of Augusta, Georgia, on the way. Before Granholm's arrival, the energy secretary's advance staff realized the station would not be able to accommodate Granholm and her caravan—one charger was broken and others were in use. A Granholm staffer subsequently used a gas-powered car to block drivers from accessing the station's only available charger until Granholm's arrival, prompting one family to call the police in an attempt to compel the staffer to move, NPR reported Sunday.

Granholm hoped the trip would showcase the wonders of electric vehicles and highlight the Biden administration's spending to improve green energy infrastructure across the United States. Instead, the trip showcased the electric vehicle issues that are plaguing President Joe Biden's prized green energy transition. Despite billions of dollars in Biden administration subsidies, public charging stations can be difficult to find during long road trips, and drivers who do locate a station often encounter broken and occupied chargers.

Granholm has nonetheless advised road-tripping Americans to purchase an electric vehicle, a move her department said would "save money and gas." Electric vehicles, however, are on average more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts. Granholm's June caravan of EVs included a Ford F-150 Lightning and a Cadillac Lyriq, both of which can cost more than $60,000.

Ultimately, the 911 caller at the backed-up Georgia station said she was able to find a charging spot, though other drivers had to wait until the ordeal's conclusion, according to the NPR report.

"It's just par for the course," one electric vehicle driver told the outlet.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office told the Free Beacon it dispatched a deputy to the scene following the 911 call, which took place on June 27. No arrests were made.

The Energy Department declined to comment on the 911 call.

Jessica Costescu contributed to this report.