US DOT Awards Nearly $150 Million to Repair or Replace 4,500 EV Charging Ports in 20 States

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The U.S. Transportation Department has announced the allocation of $148.8 million for projects in 20 states aimed at repairing or replacing nearly 4,500 existing electric vehicle (EV) charging ports. This move is part of a broader effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to enhance the EV charging infrastructure, aligning with their upcoming rules that could significantly boost EV sales.

The funds are specifically intended to address the concerns of frustrated EV owners who encounter non-functional charging ports. Shailen Bhatt, the Federal Highway Administrator, emphasized the anticipation of increased demand for EV technology and expressed confidence that the reliability of charging infrastructure will improve with these investments.

The funding is part of the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program, which was established through the $1 trillion 2021 infrastructure law. States participating in the program are required to operate federally-funded charging ports for at least five years, ensuring they remain operational 97% of the time.

The broader goal of the White House is to expand the national network of chargers to 500,000 by 2030. This expansion includes strategically placing high-speed chargers no more than 50 miles apart on the busiest highways and interstates. The move is considered crucial by automakers and industry stakeholders for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

As of now, the United States boasts more than 170,000 public charging ports, with the number increasing by over 70% since the start of the Biden administration. In 2021, President Biden set a goal, supported by automakers, aiming for 50% of new vehicles by 2030 to be electric or plug-in hybrids.

Simultaneously, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed stringent tailpipe regulations, envisioning 67% of new vehicles being electric by 2032. The administration is expected to finalize these emissions limits by March. However, there are ongoing debates, with automakers seeking adjustments to these requirements and recent actions by Republicans in the U.S House of Representatives attempting to block the EPA from finalizing these rules.

Source: Reuters


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