The Department of Transportation (DOT) has unveiled a significant investment in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, earmarking $623 million in grants to bolster EV charging networks nationwide. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized the urgency of this initiative, highlighting the current momentum of the electric vehicle revolution.
According to ABC, These grants will fund 47 projects across 22 states and Puerto Rico, with a specific focus on rural and underserved communities. The outcome will be the installation of approximately 7,500 new EV charging ports, a substantial step towards the Biden administration’s goal of 500,000 chargers nationwide by 2030.
While electric vehicle sales have been steadily rising, the pace has not matched previous years due to factors like high vehicle prices and inadequate charging infrastructure. Secretary Buttigieg stressed the importance of addressing these challenges, ensuring that EV adoption becomes more accessible and practical for all Americans.
Shailen Bhatt, the administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, noted that this charging infrastructure expansion aims to benefit a broad spectrum of users, from local business owners to long-haul truck drivers, by providing convenient and reliable access to charging stations.
Several key projects will receive substantial funding, such as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which will use $10 million to develop charging stations in disadvantaged and rural communities with a focus on multi-family housing. Maryland Clean Energy Center will receive $15 million to build nearly 90 charging stations, potentially including locations at historically Black universities like Coppin State University in Baltimore.
In Northern California’s Contra Costa County, $15 million will be allocated to construct chargers at branches of the county’s library system, enhancing accessibility for local residents. Energy Northwest will also receive $15 million to deploy chargers across western Washington State and northern Oregon.
The Chilkoot Indian Association in Haines, Alaska, will use $1.4 million to establish an EV charging station in their town. Haines, uniquely connected by road to Canada and the Alaska Highway, will benefit from improved EV infrastructure.
Secretary Buttigieg expressed his commitment to ensuring that electric vehicles are manufactured in the United States by American workers, with the benefits reaching all Americans. He underlined the importance of President Biden’s policies in achieving this vision.
Funding for these grants derives from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s $2.5 billion discretionary grant program for charging and fueling infrastructure. Since President Joe Biden assumed office, the number of available electric vehicle models has doubled, with further expansion anticipated by year-end. EV sales have quadrupled, constituting around 9% of all passenger vehicle sales, with over 4 million EVs currently on the roads.
Public charging ports have increased by approximately 70%, and private companies have pledged over $155 billion in investments in EVs and battery supply chains. The nation currently boasts 170,000 charging stations, and the government remains steadfast in its commitment to meeting President Biden’s 2030 goal.
This substantial investment in EV infrastructure marks a pivotal step towards a sustainable, electrified future for transportation in the United States. With improved accessibility to charging infrastructure, the electric vehicle revolution is poised to accelerate, benefiting communities across the country.