Potential Roadblocks for Biden’s EV Charging Plan

The proposal needs congressional funding and might also require new regulations to hasten construction.

April 07, 2021

EV Charging

WASHINGTON—President Biden’s proposal for an electric-vehicle (EV) charging station network could invigorate the EV industry, but roadblocks include legal, budgetary and technical challenges, the Wall Street Journal reports. The president’s plan for half a million new EV charging stations—a fivefold increase in the national EV network—is wrapped into a $174 billion measure to help the electric vehicle industry under the White House’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill.

Hurdles to clear for such an EV charging network include congressional funding approval and possibly permitting changes and cost-sharing regulations to address concerns at the state and local level, according to Chris Nelder with energy and environment policy group RMI. “It’s going to take money, it’s going to take authority, it’s going to take leadership and the federal government to step in,” Nedler said.

In the U.S., EV investment has been rising, but there’s still a long way to go compared to the EV growth in Europe and China. “Biden’s plan could help supercharge” the EV channel, according to Anastasia Amoroso, a strategist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “The plan puts the right and similar incentives in place that have helped drive EV adoption in Europe and China,” Amoroso told the Journal.

Companies like ChargePoint and EVgo Services LLC stand to gain from the implementation of Biden’s plan. “We have electricity everywhere. Let’s just make sure everyone feels comfortable they can charge everywhere,” said Cathy Zoi, chief executive of EVgo Services. The company, which has more than 800 EV charging stations in operation across 34 states, is partnering with General Motors on tripling its charging network with 2,750 new chargers by 2025.

“If we can get rid of range anxiety, then you have a virtuous cycle in which EVs become ubiquitous around the U.S.,” said James West with Evercore ISI.

NACS has advocated that convenience and fuel retailers have the same access to grants and incentives to build out EV charging infrastructure as any other business sector and that any infrastructure proposal should promote a competitive market and remove hurdles to private sector investment. NACS believes that convenience and fuel retailers, which operate more than 122,000 fueling locations in the U.S., should have the option to sell any legal source of transportation energy. 

The Fuels Institute has prepared an evaluation of the electric vehicle market from the consumer perspective, including total cost of ownership, recharging infrastructure requirements, anticipated consumer recharging behavior and the relationship of EVs to competing technology in terms of consumer adoption. Visit “Electric Vehicle Adoption: Focus on Charging” to learn more. In addition, the Institute’s Electric Vehicle Council soon will be publishing three new reports pertaining to EV charging infrastructure options, regulations and consumer behavior.

Watch this YouTube video by the Fuels Institute and NACS for more information on EV infrastructure.

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