A train station put the tiny mountain town of West Jefferson, North Carolina on the map.

A century later, some hope electric-vehicle charging stations will help keep it there.

West Jefferson is among the first communities to benefit from an effort by North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives to lure electric-vehicle drivers off the beaten path to remote and scenic areas they might have otherwise avoided out of range anxiety.

The push by the cooperatives, which cover nearly half the state’s land mass, comes as North Carolina decides whether to spend $13.8 million on charging infrastructure from a settlement with Volkswagen for producing illegally-polluting vehicles.

“If each of these electric cooperatives had charging stations in their area,” said Kristie Aldridge, who works with

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