In a major push towards sustainable transportation, the United States is investing $148.8 million to refurbish and enhance its electric vehicle (EV) charging network. This move, announced by the U.S. Transportation Department, is part of the broader efforts under President Joe Biden’s administration to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles across the nation.
The funding will target 20 states, aiming to repair or replace nearly 4,500 existing electric vehicle charging ports. This development comes as a response to the growing frustration among EV owners regarding the reliability of charging infrastructure. Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt emphasized that the initiative aims to address these concerns, anticipating an increase in EV sales and a subsequent rise in demand for efficient charging solutions.
This initiative is a segment of the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, which was established under the $1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law. A key requirement of the program is that states must ensure the federally-funded charging ports remain operational for at least five years, with a functionality rate of 97%.
The overarching goal of the White House is to expand the nationwide charging network to 500,000 by 2030. This includes the installation of high-speed chargers at intervals of no more than 50 miles on the busiest highways and interstates. This ambitious target is part of a larger strategy to make EVs more accessible and convenient for Americans, thereby encouraging their widespread adoption.
The necessity for an extensive and reliable EV charging network is echoed by automakers and industry experts. Many are now aligning with Tesla’s EV charging technology, which has set a high standard in the sector. The United States currently boasts over 170,000 public charging ports, with a more than 70% increase in availability since the beginning of the Biden administration.
In 2021, President Biden set a goal, supported by automakers, for 50% of all new vehicles sold by 2030 to be EVs or plug-in hybrids. This aligns with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed stringent new tailpipe regulations, aiming for 67% of new vehicles to be electric by 2032. However, these proposals have faced opposition, with automakers urging the EPA to moderate the requirements and recent votes by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives to prevent the finalization of these rules.