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U.S. unveils US$5-billion plan to fund EV charging network

The Biden administration wants states to have a plan before tapping into infrastructure funding

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The Biden administration on Thursday unveiled its plan to award nearly US$5 billion over five years to build thousands of electric vehicle charging stations. Congress approved the funding to states as part of a US$1-trillion infrastructure bill in November.

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The White House wants to prod Americans to move away from gasoline-powered vehicles even as efforts to win substantial additional funding for EVs in Congress have stalled.

The administration will make US$615 million available in 2022 but states must first submit plans and win federal approval. “We’re not going to dictate to the states how to do this, but we do need to make sure that they meet basic standards,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said at a press conference.

Buttigieg told Reuters that the United States faces different EV network challenges in rural and urban areas. “It’s got to be customized, which is exactly why we have the states coming to us with plans rather than the other way around,” he said.

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By 2030, Biden wants 50 per cent of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric models; and 500,000 new EV charging stations. He has not endorsed phasing out new gasoline-powered vehicle sales by 2030.

The Biden administration said in guidance Thursday states should first prioritize investments along interstate highways. It also says:

  • States should fund DC Fast Chargers; stations should have at least four ports capable of simultaneously charging four EVs.
  • States should install EV charging infrastructure every 50 miles along interstate highways and be located within 1 mile of highways.
  • Federal funds will cover 80 per cent of EV charging costs, with private or state funds making up the balance.

The White House endorsed legislation stalled in Congress to increase current US$7,500 EV tax credits to up to US$12,500 for union-made U.S. vehicles, and create credits of up to US$4,000 for used EVs.