According to a new report by the Center for American Progress (CAP), the number of fossil-fuel-propelled vehicles in the United States stands at 113 million. There are also approximately 100,000 gas stations. The next step, according to the report, is the transition from fossil-fuel-propelled vehicles to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Currently, there are over 800,000 PEVs on the road and a network of 18,000 public charging stations (not counting vehicle-owner home charging stations).
"Tipping the balance of vehicles toward PEVs requires the funds to incentivize the widespread adoption of new vehicles and their charging infrastructure, along with the will to overhaul the existing system," the report states.
Progress is already being made.
"Policy leaders across the country are spurring investment in charging infrastructure through the use of state financial incentives and funds available through the Volkswagen (VW) settlement, which requires VW to make payments to resolve the federal government's allegations that the company cheated emission standards," the report states
To meet Paris Agreement targets, the report suggests, the United States will need to add 14 million new PEVs and more than 330,000 new public charging outlets, by the end of 2025.
"Many states are well on their way to having (the infrastructure) needed by 2025, but the country needs significantly more to meet the Paris Agreement goal. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state are leading the way," the report states.
The federal government is also getting involved. According to the report, the U.S. Department of Energy recently introduced EVI-Pro Lite, a tool that uses data on personal vehicle travel patterns, EV attributes and charging station characteristics to estimate the quantity and type of charging infrastructure necessary to support regional adoption of EVs.
The report notes that existing state and VW funds can provide only about 50 percent of the funding that is necessary to deploy adequate public charging infrastructure through 2025.
"Additional public resources and private investment are necessary to close the remaining $2.3 billion gap," the report states.
The report suggests a number of things states can do to encourage the growth of the EV infrastructure:
- Provide financial incentives for charging infrastructure. For example, work with utilities to provide financial incentives for, and to invest in, charging infrastructure.
- Join or start a carbon pricing program that generates revenue that could be used for charging infrastructure.
- Direct state departments of transportation to consider ways to incorporate charging infrastructure into their investment plans.
- Apply for federal grants for charging infrastructure.