A $5 billion program to build a national network of electric vehicle charging stations, part of the 2021 infrastructure legislation, will prioritize fast chargers and locations on interstate highways before focusing on rural and urban areas, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
What’s happening: On Thursday, the Biden administration unveiled a blueprint for awarding federal funds to states for the charging stations.
Why it’s important: “Dotting the interstate-highway corridors with charging stations is considered a priority because it will give EV motorists confidence that they can take long-distance trips without trouble recharging … officials said.”
Charging station details: The administration will give states $615 million in the first year of the program using a formula similar to one used in federal highway grants to states.
- “Under the guidelines, the U.S. transportation secretary will certify plans that connect high-use corridors, mostly interstates. Many of the corridors are already set by the federal government, but in their grant requests states can ask for approval to adjust or expand them.”
- Stations will need to be installed every 50 miles, be no more than a mile off the interstate and have ports for four cars and a minimum total capacity of 600 kilowatts.
- States should expect to contract with private companies to foot the bill for 20% of the stations’ cost, as the federal money will cover only 80%, the highway administration said.
More to come: Later this year the Transportation and Energy departments, which are implementing the station programs together, will roll out funding rules for a separate, $2.5 billion pot of EV-related money included in last year’s infrastructure bill.