Biden awards $623 million to states, local governments and tribes to build EV charging networks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is providing $623 million in grants to help build electric vehicle charging networks across the country.

The grants being announced Thursday will fund 47 EV charging stations and related projects in 22 states and Puerto Rico, including 7,500 EV charging ports, officials said.

“America led the advent of the automotive age, and now we have a chance to lead the world in the EV revolution – securing jobs, savings and benefits for Americans in the process,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. The new funding will "help ensure that EV chargers are accessible, reliable and convenient for American drivers, while creating jobs for American workers in charger manufacturing, installation and maintenance."

Congress approves $7.5 billion in 2021 infrastructure legislation to meet President Joe Biden's construction goal A national network of 500,000 publicly available chargers By 2030. The charging ports are a key part of Biden's effort to encourage drivers to move away from gasoline-powered cars and trucks that contribute to global warming.

But progress on the network has been slow. Ohio and New York are the only states that have open charging station Under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Programme. many other states including pennsylvania And Maine has begun work on federally funded projects and the station is expected to open early this year. A total of 28 states, in addition to Puerto Rico, have either awarded contracts to make chargers or have accepted bids to do so.

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Since Biden took office in 2021, EV sales have more than quadrupled and reached more than 1 million last year. White House climate adviser Ali Zaidi said the number of publicly available charging ports has increased by nearly 70% to 168,426.

That number is about one-third of Biden's goal with six years remaining.

"We are moving rapidly towards meeting and exceeding the President's goal of reaching 500,000 chargers and building a nationwide base," Zaidi told reporters on Wednesday.

Wide availability of chargers is important to meet another goal of the Biden administration: ensuring that EVs Half of all new car sales By 2030. Along with cost, “range anxiety” regarding the lack of available charging stations is a major barrier to purchasing an EV. Nearly 80% of respondents cited concerns about the lack of charging stations as a reason for not purchasing an electric vehicle. an april survey From The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

Seven out of 10 respondents said they would not buy an EV because they take too long to charge and the battery technology is not ready.

Buttigieg and other administration officials shrugged off those concerns and said the future of auto travel is electric.

“We are now in a moment where the electric vehicle revolution is not coming. “It's pretty much over here,” Buttigieg told reporters. Buttigieg said EV sales now account for about 9% of all passenger vehicle sales — a huge increase since Biden took office. He cited a new study showing that EVs cost only 4% more than gasoline-powered cars.

Buttigieg said, "The prices that consumers face for EVs have actually declined significantly. And we believe we are rapidly approaching a period when EVs will, on average, outperform internal combustion vehicles." "Will be cheaper than."

The grants announced Thursday include $311 million for 36 "community" projects, including two Native American tribes in Alaska and Arizona, The projects will promote EV charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure in urban and rural communities, including high-use locations such as schools, parks, libraries and apartment buildings.

Another $312 million of funding will go to 11 highway “corridors” with roads designated as alternative fuel corridors. Projects include $19.6 million for a publicly accessible EV charging facility in Riverside County California, located midway between Los Angeles and Phoenix on the I-10 corridor. The project includes the installation of six large chargers for heavy-duty vehicles and 30 fast chargers for light-duty vehicles; solar and battery energy storage systems; And facilities like rest areas.

A pollution district in the San Joaquin Valley, California, will receive $56 million to build two state-of-the-art truck charging sites in Taft and Gustine, California, to support two of the nation's busiest freight corridors along I-5. The sites will feature 90 fast chargers for passenger vehicles, 85 fast chargers for medium to heavy-duty EVs and 17 large chargers. The sites will also enhance grid stability with 63 acres of solar panels and battery electric storage systems.

About $70 million will go to North Central texas Government Council will build five hydrogen fueling stations for medium and heavy duty trucks in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The project will help create a "hydrogen fuel corridor" from Southern California to Texas.

Another $15 million will go maryland The Clean Energy Center will build 87 EV charging stations in urban, suburban, and low- and moderate-income communities across the state. Proposed sites include Coppin State University, a historically Black school in Baltimore, and 34 disadvantaged communities with multi-family housing.

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