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Coming Soon: A $5 Billion Charging Network for Electric Vehicles

Feb. 21, 2022
A new government program aims to get more individuals and businesses using environmental friendly electric vehicles by giving them a better national charging network to work with.

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As the number of electric vehicles on the nation’s roadways continues to increase year over year, the U.S. EV charging infrastructure isn’t keeping pace. In fact, it’s fallen behind and in need of a boost. Calling this infrastructure one the “biggest barriers to EV adoption in the US,” CNBC says that even if the act of finding a charger is easy, the time it takes to fully charge your vehicle can be an issue. 

“It takes about 10 minutes to fill your car with a tank of gas but about 45 minutes to fully charge an EV,” CNBC says, “sometimes longer.” This could create problems for an industry sector that sold 434,879 vehicles in 2021 (up from 322,000 the prior year), according to MotorTrend.

To help make charging more convenient for EV owners, the Biden Administration recently laid out plans for a $5 billion network of EV chargers along the nation’s Interstates, among other improvements that could entice more Americans to start driving electric vehicles.

“A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help us win the EV race by working with states, labor, and the private sector to deploy a historic nationwide charging network that will make EV charging accessible for more Americans.”

Joining Forces to Boost EV Usage

According to the U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy, nearly $5 billion will be made available under the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to facilitate collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The funds will be used to build out a national EV charging network. The program will help states create a network of EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, with a particular emphasis on the interstate highway system.  A second, competitive grant program meant to increase EV charging access in locations throughout the country—including in rural and underserved communities—is expected to be announced later this year.

In a recent briefing, the White House outlined an EV Charging Action Plan and the steps federal agencies are taking to support developing and deploying chargers in American communities.

The administration says this network will support accelerated adoption of EVs for both private consumers and commercial fleets and put the nation “on a path to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, and position U.S. industries to lead global efforts.”

The administration also wants to increase domestic manufacturing of EV batteries and components and advance environmentally responsible domestic sourcing and recycling of critical minerals.

“We are modernizing America’s national highway system for drivers in cities large and small, towns and rural communities, to take advantage of the benefits of driving electric,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping states make electric vehicle charging more accessible by building the necessary infrastructure for drivers across America to save money and go the distance, from coast-to-coast.”

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About the Author

Bridget McCrea | Contributing Writer | Supply Chain Connect

Bridget McCrea is a freelance writer who covers business and technology for various publications.