An essential part of the transition to electric vehicles is ensuring that the charging infrastructure is up to date. The five-year bipartisan Infrastructure Act to help states install charging stations along highways, and that process just hit a milestone. The Department of Transportation has approved electric vehicle charging plans for all 50 states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico. The proposals cover 75,000 miles of highways, as Remarks.
Following DOT approval of the plans, the Biden administration released more than $1.5 billion in funding for states’ electric vehicle charger projects. The funds will cover up to 80% of EV charger installation costs, with states and private entities covering the rest. Earlier this month, the DOT said it had approved plans from 35 states, but approvals were needed for all of them before it could start offering the funding.
It’s unclear how many Chargers the funding will support, but Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said earlier this year that states will have to meet certain standards. States should install DC fast chargers, the DOT said, and stations will need at least four ports. EV chargers should also be available every 50 miles on interstate highways. They should be within a mile of freeways too.
Private companies, such as and , are building their own charging networks. But having public infrastructure at specific intervals on interstate highways is also important.
For what it’s worth, the rapid expansion of EV chargers with the help of public funding stands in stark contrast to the rollout of broadband under bipartisan infrastructure law. Last month, it emerged that the Commerce Department had been unable to allocate any part of the $42.5 billion set out in the legislation to bolster broadband infrastructure and bridge the digital divide because it did not have adequate cards from the Federal Communications Commission at that time. .
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