Electric vehicle charging networks will be more easily accessible under a new deal signed by the Biden administration.
On Sept. 14, 2022, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration announced early approval of two-thirds of EV infrastructure deployment plans under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. This move will release over $900 million in NEVI funding to build EV chargers in the states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
These chargers will be built across an estimated 53,000 miles of highway.
“Today, with funding in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking an important step to build a nationwide electric vehicle charging network where finding a charge is as easy as locating a gas station,” said Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.
While EVs are growing in popularity, reliable charging sources remain a barrier for drivers. A 2022 survey report by Plug In America found that the most common problems EV owners experienced with chargers were non-working public chargers and not enough of them.
Officials say that underdeveloped and rural areas especially experience “charging deserts,” areas that lack public charging options for EVs and that this discourages local drivers from investing in electric options.
“If we go back to electricity, it took almost forever for it to get it to rural America,” said Rep. David Scott (R-Ga.), chair of the committee, at a January 2022 House Agriculture Committee meeting. “I want to see that we make sure that rural America is not left behind as they were left behind in movements to electricity, to plumbing, to all of the other areas.”
Better charging infrastructure could incentivize more Americans to test drive EVs, and it seems like manufacturers are on board, as news of production increases across companies. Volvo recently announced production of three more zero-emission truck models, beefing up their range of heavy-duty electric trucks to six options. Ford is building three new battery plants in the U.S. and expects to deliver 2 million EVs by 2026, according to Ford’s global director of electrified systems engineering, Charles Poon, and Volkswagen is also looking to open new U.S. assembly and battery facilities.
The Plug In America survey reports that 90% of EV owners are likely or very likely to purchase an EV as their next vehicle. With this funding set to provide easier charging access, and an increase of electric car options on the market, the EV trend does not show signs of slowing down.
Header image by Andrew Roberts / Unsplash.