A Station for Everyone
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Newscast 12.15.2023: More electric vehicle charging stations coming to Iowa; Gas prices continue to fall; Iowa Democrats want nursing home oversight

Charging of an electric vehicle is shown in this image.
Charging of an electric vehicle is shown in this image.

There could be more electric vehicle charging stations added along interstate highways in Iowa, as a state agency is underway with a grant program that will provide funding for more.

The Iowa Department of Transportation and partners are promoting a Notice of Funding opportunity, which will disburse federal program funding in the state to support the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in Iowa.

The federal funding comes from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, which was created in 2022 by the Federal Highway Administration to strategically add electric vehicle charging stations, via $7.5 billion dollars in funding.

Electric vehicles are being bought by people who want no- or low-emission driving options, when compared to gasoline-powered vehicles.

More than 200,000 electric vehicles were sold in the United States in the first quarter of 2022. As of June 2023, approximately 12,800 EVs were registered in Iowa, and there are EVs registered in every county in Iowa.

IDOT notes that Iowa is a transportation crossroads, with major interstates bisecting the state. As more travelers use electric vehicles, whether they are Iowans or Americans traveling through the state, it is crucial to have sufficient charging infrastructure to meet demand.

The funding will be available for charging stations along the interstate highways of I-29 in Siouxland, plus I-80, I-380 and I-35. Those seeking funding must apply by March 2024, with decisions made within four months after that.

In other travel-related news, gas prices are continuing a long decline over recent weeks in Iowa and the Midwest.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture has released the most recent weekly fuel report. The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 5 cents, averaging $2.82 across Iowa.

Several Sioux City area stations are currently selling unleaded in the range from $2.49 to $2.69 per gallon.

The price has typically been falling from 3 to 8 cents over many recent weeks, dating back to October.

Prices in Iowa are down 9 cents from one year ago. The national average for unleaded is $3.12 per gallon, which is far lower than the gas prices of $6 to $8 per gallon that former President Donald Trump cited in a campaign speech two days ago in Coralville, Iowa.

In other news, Iowa Senate Democrats are requesting a government oversight meeting to look into the state’s nursing homes.

Democratic senators say they would like Republicans to call a meeting of the government oversight committee to look into recent reports of abuse and neglect in Iowa’s nursing homes.

State Senator Claire Celsi, a Democrat from West Des Moines, says a public meeting would shed light into the current issues at Iowa nursing facilities, which she called a crisis.

Democrats say they plan to introduce legislation next session that would increase oversight and inspections at nursing homes and invest more in community-based care.
Update at 3 p.m.: Several Iowa news outlets are reporting that Republicans in the Iowa Senate will not agree to hold a committee meeting, saying a state agency already works to give oversight of nursing homes.