The electric vehicle charging situation in the United States is about to suck a little less


Photo by Andrew Hawkins/The Edge

We’re about to see a lot more electric vehicle chargers in the United States.

The Biden administration just announced approval of $900 million in funding to 35 states to install electric vehicle chargers on about 53,000 miles of highway across the country — the first tranche of a pot $5 billion included in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.

That means money is about to start flowing to states to implement their plans to install thousands of new electric vehicle chargers, a crucial link in the Biden administration’s goal of enticing more people to switch to plug-in vehicles. The president said he wants to build 500,000 chargers in the United States by 2030 in hopes that improved charging infrastructure will make electric vehicles a more attractive choice for American car buyers. (The $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit is also intended to help with this effort.)

There are approximately 41,000 public charging stations in the United States, with over 100,000 outlets. Of course, public chargers are only half of the equation. Most EV owners charge overnight while parked in their driveway at home. But if electric vehicles are to become a more attractive option for car buyers, charging stations will have to become more ubiquitous and reliable, like gas stations.

Biden traveled to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, this week to tout the new funding and take a victory lap during the passage of the cut bill. inflation, which includes billions of dollars in clean energy incentives and other measures to improve manufacturing in the United States.

To receive the funding, states had to submit plans for how they would spend the money while adhering to a new set of standards aimed at ensuring EV chargers were installed that were practical, affordable and accessible to as many people as possible. The standards also outline the types of projects that won’t receive federal money, including proprietary charging stations that only a company’s vehicles can access, such as Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Earlier this year, the administration unveiled plans to create a continuous network of electric vehicle charging stations along 165,722 miles of the national highway system, spanning 49 states and the District of Columbia. Under the plan, called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would approve eligible plans by September 30, with $615 million made available in fiscal year 2022.

In a statement today, the administration praised itself for being ahead of schedule, with Acting FHWA Administrator Stephanie Pollack promising to approve the rest of the states’ plans before the deadline for the September 30.

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