On Friday, Nov. 5, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The package authorizes the spending of $550 billion of new investment over several years, including billions of dollars for improvements to infrastructure such as roads and bridges, rail, water, transit and broadband internet.
This includes spending specifically targeted at electric vehicles (EV) and EV charging infrastructure. The White House noted that “the U.S. market share of plug-in electric vehicle sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market.”
To help close the gap, the package invests $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers. It will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live and work. The White House added that federal funding will have “a particular focus” on rural, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities.
Support of electrification in the transportation sector does not end there. The package also emphasizes the importance of electric buses and will deliver thousands of electric school buses nationwide. It invests $5 billion in zero-emission and clean buses. The White House emphasized that this will help millions of school children and their bus drivers avoid pollution from diesel-powered buses.
Because the Senate already approved the package in August, the House vote sent the legislation to President Biden’s desk. He is expected to sign the bill when lawmakers return from recess next week.
The package is massive. When routine funding for highways is included, the total amount reaches $1.2 trillion, making it the largest public works bill since President Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway System in 1956.