It’s about to get a whole lot easier to charge your electric vehicle. The Department of Transportation has promised to expand electric vehicle charging in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
The plan, dubbed the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, is expected to cover some 75,000 miles of highway across the country using $1.5 billion in funding from President Biden’s infrastructure bill. Engadget reported that the funding covers 80 percent of EV charger installation costs, with states and private entities picking up the remaining 20 percent of the tab.
“With this greenlight, States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico can ramp up their work to build out EV charging networks that will make driving an EV more convenient and affordable for their residents and will serve as the backbone of our national EV charging network,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack in a statement. “The Federal Highway Administration will continue to work closely with States as we implement this historic funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to bring President Biden’s vision for a national electric vehicle network to communities across America.”
There were no immediate estimates of how many new charging stations the plan would create, but these stations will need to meet certain requirements, such as type of charger and proximity to a major highway.
Charging infrastructure and range anxiety remain a barrier to entry for car owners looking to purchase electric vehicles. More chargers in more communities means more folks might make the switch. And it would, of course, be a huge benefit for those who already own an EV. There are plenty of “charging deserts” out there, just waiting to be electrified.
“We have approved plans for all 50 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to 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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement.
Roughly 46,000 charging stations currently exist in the U.S., compared to around 150,000 gas stations, according to NPR, so while this funding will help make chargers more accessible, it won’t be enough for vehicle owners to completely transition away from gas and diesel.