States are getting the green light to construct a nationwide network of EV charging stations.
According to a report, this would install modern or new stations every 50 miles along interstate highways as part of the Biden administration’s strategy to encourage an increase in the use of zero-emission vehicles.
The administration announced on Thursday $5 billion in federal funding to states for five years as part of President Joe Biden‘s infrastructure bill and sketched out the concept of seamless climate-friendly vehicle journeys from coast to coast.
As per new rules set by the Transportation Department, states must submit plans to the federal government. They will begin construction this fall if they first focus on the highways instead of neighborhoods or shopping centers—that could enable people to drive their electric vehicles for long distances. Each station must be equipped with at least four fast-charger outlets that allow drivers to charge their vehicles within an hour fully.
A joint office between the transportation and energy departments will guide states on expanding the network, paying particular attention to serving rural communities. If states fail to meet standards, they could face delays in getting the go signal from the Federal Highway Administration or not getting federal funding at all.
The law also provides the additional $2.5 billion in local grants to be announced in the coming months to help fill in the gaps in the charging infrastructure in rural areas and disadvantaged communities that are less likely to own electric vehicles.
There are over 50,000 charging stations in the U.S., with more than 100,000 outlets. The senior administration officials are now describing the legislation as the first step towards achieving the half-million target by 2030, after Biden‘s plan to invest $15 billion in charging stations has been cut in half.
They anticipate that the new construction will spur more and bigger investments from the private sector.