Dot Approves 50 States Plans : On Tuesday, the U.S. Transportation Department approved electric vehicle charging station plans for all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico that span approximately 75,000 miles of highways.
Last summer, the Biden administration allocated $5 billion to states for five years of funding for electric vehicle chargers along interstate highways as part of a bipartisan infrastructure package. Under this plan titled the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, states submitted their EV infrastructure deployment proposals to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation.
States have now been given approval to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated alternative fuel corridors on the national highway system, with access to more than $1.5 billion for construction costs.
Unfortunately, it remains uncertain how many charging stations the funds will support and states have yet to announce specific locations. Transportation Department officials have said states should install stations every 50 miles and guarantee each is within one mile of an interstate highway.
“To ensure Americans across America – from major cities to rural villages – can take advantage of electric vehicle savings and benefits,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced in a statement.
The White House has committed $135 billion towards electric vehicle research and development, with plans to build a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030. Tax credits included in the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act will offer consumers financial incentives to purchase electric vehicles.
Though electric vehicle sales have seen a recent uptick, the transportation sector remains one of the nation’s primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions. A lack of convenient charging stations is one major obstacle to further adoption across America; nonetheless, the U.S. remains the world’s third-largest market for EVs behind China and Europe.
The administration has promoted electric vehicles (EVs) as more cost-effective than gas-powered cars and set a goal of 50% electric vehicle sales by 2030, contributing to its effort to cut emissions in half by 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Furthermore, they plan on replacing their federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks with electric power by 2035.
California, the nation’s most populous state and epicenter of U.S. car culture, recently banned new gasoline-powered vehicle sales beginning in 2035. But to meet that deadline will likely require installing enough charging stations and having access to materials needed for battery production.
“States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico can now move forward with building out EV charging networks that will make driving an EV more convenient and affordable for their citizens – serving as the backbone of our national EV charging network,” said acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack in a statement.