Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation said it approved charging station plans for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, extending a network of electric chargers across the entire nation.
The investments in new electric vehicle charging stations expands on a $900 million investment to install an EV charging network across 34 states and Puerto Rico.
Covering roughly 75,000 miles of highways, the announcement exceeds the original plan to install chargers by 22,000 miles.
The initial plan — under the February-announced National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program or NEVI — will be rolling out $5 billion in funding over a five-year period to install the chargers. Under the program, states provide deployment proposals to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, CNBC reports.
While it's unclear how many charging stations the funds will support and where exactly they will be located, all states are now approved to begin construction along designated alternative fuel corridors on the national highway system using the $1.5 billion in allocated funding.
According to department officials, states should install stations every 50 miles and ensure each station is located within one mile of an interstate highway.
The plans will “help ensure that Americans in every part of the country – from the largest cities to the most rural communities—can be positioned to unlock the savings and benefits of electric vehicles,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, transitioning America’s cars to EVs is an important pathway to achieving the goal of reducing our emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels by 2030. A robust network of public chargers, fueled by the investment, is an important tool to support this transition.
In the first quarter of 2022, EV sales shot up by 60%, even as overall new car registrations dropped by 18%, per a report by Automotive News. Incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act and $135 billion in investments by the White House have driven historic interest in going electric.
Despite only occupying 4% of current production, EV sales have reached a tipping point, and by 2030, half of U.S. car sales will be electric in order to curb emissions. Plus, the administration has also committed to replacing its federal fleet of 600,000 cars and trucks with electric-powered vehicles by 2035.
The news should be a welcome boost for established electric vehicle charging companies like EVgo, ChargePoint, and Volta Charging but it'll also provide a jolt for companies like Electric Era Technologies and other new charging technology developers and service provider.s
Despite the increased popularity and affordability of EVs, the infrastructure needed to support them continues to lag behind, making them unaffordable and unattainable for many. But with the green light, the Highway Administration hopes the nationwide network makes EVs more convenient and affordable for everyday Americans.