U.S. Funds for EV Charging to Focus on Largest States

Meanwhile, House lawmakers clear way for late-September vote on $1 trillion infrastructure bill. 

August 25, 2021

Electric Vehicle Charging

WASHINGTON—The $1 trillion infrastructure bill has $7.5 billion earmarked for EV charging—a sharp decrease from the original $15 billion—and it will likely end up being closer to $5 billion for building the actual electric charging network, Autoweek reports.

Yesterday, the House narrowly advanced a $3.5 trillion budget framework that paves the way for a late-September vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“I am committing to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by September 27,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said yesterday. “I do so with a commitment to rally House Democratic support for its passage.”

The Biden Administration wants to vastly increase the number of EV chargers across the country, with the goal of building 500,000 EV chargers by 2030.

Some EV industry watchers posit that a fully electrified vehicle fleet will need an investment of between $20 billion to $30 billion over the next decade. “The current level of $5 billion for EV charging in the Senate infrastructure bill will not provide the charging network that the public needs to drive electric with confidence,” said Joel Levin, executive director of advocacy group Plug In America. “Imagine how comfortable you’d feel driving with gasoline if we took out two-thirds of the gas stations,” he told Autoweek.

In July, the U.S. Department of Energy counted 42,000 U.S. public charging stations, about 5,000 of which are fast chargers. The Federal Highway Administration formula would allocate most of the EV charging budget to big states, with Texas ($407 million), California ($383 million), Florida ($198 million), New York ($175 million) and Illinois ($148 million) coming out on top.

“To build sufficient charging stations to accommodate a fully electrified vehicle fleet, at least $20 to $30 billion will have to be invested over the next 10 years,” Dan Zotos, spokesman for the Zero Emission Transportation Association, told Autoweek. “And additional investments are required to expand consumer incentives for new and used light-, medium-, and heavy-duty EVs.”

Analysts said more public chargers are necessary to support federal and some state goals of more EVs on the road. For example, the National Renewable Energy Lab said this summer that California needs up to 1.2 million chargers to meet its goal of at least five million light-duty EVs on its roads by 2030.

The Fuels Institute Electric Vehicle Council, with the support of NACS, has commissioned two studies to help guide the strategic deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. One report seeks to better understand how many charging facilities are needed, by when, where and what kind of chargers should be installed in specific use case scenarios. This study is designed to help leverage investment and installation decisions in the most rationale manner to support drivers and site hosts. Another is evaluating the effectiveness of various initiatives to successfully encourage deployment of chargers to help enhance any new programs that might be developed, on behalf of the sponsoring agency and the program recipient.  Both studies are under current development and should be published this fall.

Don’t forget to register to attend the 2021 NACS Show October 5-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago and take advantage of the education sessions on EVs, including the sessions EV 101: What is EV/EV Charging and Why It's Important on October 5, EV 201: How Do I Do EV? on October 6 and EV 301: The Economics of EV Charging on October 7.