Federal Government Pledges $5 Billion for Electric Car Charging

A $5 billion federal investment will contribute to state efforts to install electric vehicle charging stations along interstate highways and major corridors.

2 minute read

February 11, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Electric Vehicle Charging

MikesPhotos / Pixabay

The Biden administration has proposed a $5 billion investment in electric car charging with the goal of making electric vehicle infrastructure more accessible in more places, reports Ian Duncan in the Washington Post. "Officials say the federal funding is aimed at standardizing charging systems so drivers have an experience comparable to finding a gas station on a road trip." The investment falls short of the $39 billion that experts estimate is needed to build out a national public charging system by 2035, adds Duncan.

Electric vehicles are a tiny fraction of annual sales and establishing a viable network of chargers — the administration wants 500,000 — is widely seen as a vital step to convince more Americans to switch out their gas-powered cars. But it’s a job that must account for the needs of apartment and rowhome dwellers, who can’t charge on their driveway, and people traveling through rural areas, where electric grids might struggle to meet demand.

Today, there are roughly 116,000 public charging ports in the U.S., with many of them located in California. The Department of Transportation has been tasked with distributing the funding, while states are responsible for submitting plans by August 1. Guidelines established by the departments of energy and transportation recommend starting with chargers near interstate freeways, but the plan also needs to address the needs of drivers living farther from major highways. "The administration is seeking to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits of the spending accrue to disadvantaged communities and it will be up to states to demonstrate how they intend to meet that goal."

Thursday, February 10, 2022 in The Washington Post

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