Biden DOT Approves Network Of Charging Stations For Cars

( Highways across America got the go-ahead to start construction on a new system of charging stations for electric vehicles.

On Tuesday, final approval was given to all 50 states to start construction on the nationwide network of charging stations. The plan will place an EV charging station approximately every 50 miles on interstate highways. It’s a small part of the Biden administration’s overall goal to get to zero-emission vehicles.

Once the Department of Transportation approved the plans from the 17 final states that had yet to receive approval, the $1.5 billion of federal funding was released. In total, $5 billion will be allocated to the project over the next five years.

The money can be used to either upgrade existing or install new charging stations from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast, along the 75,000 miles of interstate highways. The goal is to have 50,000 of these chargers available at these locations across the country.

Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado and California are some of the states where these upgraded charging stations could start being ready for use by the end of 2022. When finished, there will be at least four fast-charger stations at each stop. This type of station allows most EVs to receive a full charge in approximately one hour.

The construction on the new charging stations could start as early as next spring.

As Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, said recently:

“America led the original automotive revolution in the last century, and … we’re poised to lead in the 21st century with electric vehicles. [The plans will] 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.”

By 2030, Biden said that he wants to see 50% of all new car sales in the U.S. be electric vehicles. To incentivize those purchases, the president is touting additional tax credits that are available for next year of as much as $7,500.

It’s not all rosy, though, at least in the implementation period. Many states have already said there are major potential risks in creating this EV charging network, including shortages in the supply chain, concerns regarding equity and a lack of capacity in the electric grid.

Larger states such as Florida, California and Texas have said their electric grid could handle a capacity of 1 million EVs or more, but other states are not sure they could do that.

In its plan, Vermont wrote:

“Unmanaged or unplanned for EV charging could cause utilities to incur significant costs to maintain grid reliability and create challenges for grid operators … [Some locations] may also necessitate intensive grid upgrades and buildout.”

And New Mexico wrote:

“Capacity will become a concern in future years as charging infrastructure and EVs become more ubiquitous.”

Other states such as Mississippi said potential equipment shortages “may cause significant setbacks” during the construction process.