US to deploy $5 billion EV charging network

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The US announced a $5 billion plan to build electric vehicle charging stations across the country. The funds come as part of the $7.5 billion approved for EV charging as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Even considering a rise in EV use, about one third of emissions come from transportation today. This deployment plan aligns with White House goals to decarbonize the economy in the face of climate change.

Integrated PV canopy with EV charging.

Image: Beam Global

The network of chargers will be built in “Alternative Fuel Corridors”, some 165,000 miles of national highway spanning 49 states. The plan, called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, “is going to help ensure that America leads the world on electric vehicles,” said Joe Biden in a speech this week to promote EV infrastructure in the US.

It’s estimated that there are about 41,000 public charging stations in the US. This number needs to expand rapidly, as roughly 24% of new vehicles sold by 2030 are likely to be fully electric. An Australian company, Tritium, seeks to help meet that need as it is setting up a manufacturing facility in Tennessee. The facility is expected to create 500 permanent jobs and will have a production capacity of 30,000 chargers each year.

President Biden said the program could save an average driver up to $1,000 per year on gasoline by switching to a cheaper-to-charge EV.

States are due to submit their EV infrastructure plans to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation by August 1st and the plans will be approved by the Federal Highway Administration will make approvals by September 30th.

President Joe Biden test drives the Hummer EV during a tour of the General Motors Factory ZERO electric vehicle assembly plant.
Image: White House

Officials said the other $2.5 billion earmarked for EV charging will be given guidance as part of the larger bipartisan infrastructure plan later this year. In December, the Biden administration committed to changing its fleet of 600,000 federal vehicles to EVs by 2035.

“China has been leading the race up to now, but this is about to change,” Biden said. “Because America is building convenient, reliable, equitable national public charging networks. So wherever you live, charging an electric vehicle will be quick and easy.”

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