HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Santee Cooper grant awarded to several Grand Strand companies will help bring more electric vehicle chargers to the area.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program was funding up to $25 million to South Carolina. Santee Cooper’s grant has the same goal in mind.

“They’re becoming more popular, so we made it our mission to make sure we have the infrastructure in place to help EV owners,” said Tracy Vreeland, a spokesperson for Santee Cooper.

In December, officials said EV chargers would be installed in the near future at Myrtle Beach State Park and Huntington Beach State Park. State leaders said their goal is to have chargers in 30 of the state’s 47 state parks.

Meanwhile, local EV drivers struggle to find charging stations outside of their own homes.

“You definitely have to go out of your way, or just plan it around your day to charge your car,” said Tara Taylor, who drives an EV. “[Some] are free, [some] cost money unless you have a subscription. It can be pretty inconvenient.”

The Santee Cooper grant will also be used for make-ready research, education and outreach in addition to the charging infrastructure.

“That’s why we’re doing the EVolved grant,” Vreeland said. “So we can have people in the community partner with us to do some of that research and see where they’re needed. For example, MBACC, part of their grant is for make-ready research, so they’re going to look into where we need the charging stations the most.”

A new 2023 grant cycle is expected to launch Wednesday with $50,000 in EVolve grant funding available.

Visit the Santee Cooper website for more information about the grant.

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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.