ALEXANDRIA, Va.—All 50 states’ electric vehicle charging plans have been approved by the U.S. Transportation Department, reports CNBC. The plans, which also include Washington, D.C.’s, and Puerto Rico’s, cover about 75,000 miles of highway.
“We have approved plans for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to help ensure that Americans in every part of the country—from the largest cities to the most rural communities—can be positioned to unlock the savings and benefits of electric vehicles,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.
States are cleared to begin construction on a network of electric vehicle charging stations, and they now have access to the $5 billion allocated to states for building EV chargers.
In February, the Biden Administration released an EV charging infrastructure plan that said states must install an EV charger every 50 miles and must be located no more than one mile off of high-use corridors, mostly interstates.
The chargers must have at least 600 kilowatts of total capacity, with ports for at least four cars that can simultaneously deliver at least 150 kilowatts each. The chargers also need to be accessible to the general public or to fleet operators from more than one company.
President Biden has a goal of ultimately installing 500,000 EV chargers in the U.S. and building a network of fast-charging stations across 53,000 miles of freeways from coast to coast.
CNBC reports that the transportation sector is the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and the lack of convenient charging stations in one of the biggest barriers to widespread EV adoption.
NACS, along with NATSO and SIGMA, urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to incentivize the nation’s existing refueling locations to incorporate EV charging into their suite of fueling options as the federal government implements its National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula grant program.
NACS believes that if federal investments are made without any effort to drive necessary policy and market reforms, or with unnecessary strings attached, the NEVI grant program will result in charging stations being placed in undesirable locations, limiting consumer interest in purchasing EVs and minimizing private companies' desire to invest in charging stations.
According to Jay Smith, executive director of the Charge Ahead Partnership, the fastest, most efficient way to build a network is to utilize fuel retailers who already have the real estate in the right locations.
“They offer the amenities that drivers have come to expect, and they have the infrastructure to provide that service. They’re used to serving drivers, and they want to continue to serve drivers in the future,” he said on a recent NACS Convenience Matters podcast episode.
In August, the California Air Resources Board passed a plan that requires all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the state to be electric vehicles or plug-in electric hybrids by 2035. Currently, 16% of all new car sales in California are zero-emission vehicles.
The plan is a phased approach. By 2026, 35% percent of new cars and trucks sold in the state must be zero-emission, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen-powered vehicles, and the benchmarks rise to 68% in 2030 and 100% by 2035.
In May, NACS filed a petition in federal court in Washington, D.C., challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s grant of a waiver that would allow California to impose a zero-emission vehicle mandate and related limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our members are accelerating investments in electric vehicle chargers to serve that market, but different states setting technology mandates will not work,” said Doug Kantor, NACS general counsel. “The track record of policymakers deciding what technologies will be best for future Americans is a poor one.”
The Fuels Institute is headlining two EV-related education sessions at the 2022 NACS Show, October 1-4 in Las Vegas. These include: EV Economics: Fact vs. Fiction and Reality of EV Transitions. Register today to attend the NACS Show.