GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — As gas stations across the Southeast are still recovering from the run on fuel that led to outages at the pump, it's brought the prospect of switching to electric vehicles into the spotlight.
“Ever since this gas issue hit, it takes me 45 minutes to find gas,” Andrew Bernstein, president of Macro Realty Advisors, said.
Bernstein’s struggle is one that’ll sound familiar.
“I try Gasbuddy, the stations seem to get gas and then run out, then there’s mile-long lines,” Bernstein said.
Bernstein lives an hour out of Charlotte and said stations with gas from Lincolnton to Gastonia have still been impossible to find.
At this point, Bernstein believes it’s not just a matter of convenience.
“I’ve got my daughter in the car,” Bernstein said. “I carry a gun with me now, I’m nervous. Where am I going to run out of gas, you know? It’s ridiculous, it shouldn’t be this way.”
It’s why Bernstein said he’s done trying.
“I just know I can’t get gas, so we started exploring EVs, electric vehicles,” Bernstein said.
He’s not alone. According to Cox Automotive, sales of electrified vehicles jumped 81% in the first quarter of 2021.
President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure package includes $174 billion for the development and adoption of electric vehicles. The president toured an electric vehicle center in Detroit on Tuesday.
“The future of the auto industry is electric,” Biden said. “There’s no turning back.”
Bernstein believes the fallout from the pipeline shutdown will only convince more people to make the switch.
“People are just fed up with the volatility of gas prices,” Bernstein said.
WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions by finding a resource for residents who don't want to drive all around town, trying to find which stations have gas and which don't. If you absolutely need to get gas, try using this Gas Buddy Tracker to find out where the shortages are. Just search for your zip code, and it will list which stations have fuel.