As the nation continues its slow, occasionally begrudging, march toward electrification of the transportation system, the sticking points seem to be range anxiety, lack of useful charging infrastructure, and ignorance or lack of understanding. While the government can’t really do much about the first one, and the third one is a much bigger problem than any one entity can tackle, the second one is getting a punch up in the next few years. The Biden Administration has stated that $623 million in grants have been opened up to build out charging infrastructure in communities and bolster charging along major corridors.
There are currently just over 148,000 public charging ports in the U.S. spread out among about 56,000 charging stations. According to a release Thursday by the Department of Transportation, the plan is to see those numbers triple in the next six years. “At least 500,000 publicly available chargers by 2030” is the goal, and this new grant money should help get things kicked off in a big way, with a focus on “convenient, affordable, reliable, and made-in-America.”
The funding comes from the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, a $2.5 billion effort to increase zero emissions infrastructure. The new grant money will be distributed for 47 different EV and hydrogen infrastructure projects in 22 states and Puerto Rico. About 7,500 new EV charging stations will be built. About half of the money is going to fund projects in rural and urban communities — where charging is typically scarce — filling in the gaps for people living in multi-family housing, plus stations at schools, parks, and other public spaces. Seventy percent of the money is aimed at projects in disadvantaged communities.
About 70 million dollars of the grant money is going toward a hydrogen-fueling corridor between Texas and Southern California.
“America led the arrival of the automotive era, and now we have a chance to lead the world in the EV revolution—securing jobs, savings, and benefits for Americans in the process,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This funding will help ensure that EV chargers are accessible, reliable, and convenient for American drivers, while creating jobs in charger manufacturing, installation, and maintenance for American workers.”
“Every community across the nation deserves access to convenient and reliable clean transportation,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The Biden-Harris Administration is bringing an accessible, made-in-America charging network into thousands of communities while cutting the carbon pollution that is driving the climate crisis.”