By John Bozzella
Another step forward in the monumental (and urgent) job of building more public electric vehicle charging in the U.S.
The Federal Highway Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation released final standards for EV charging projects to qualify for $5 billion of government funding (available over five years) under the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Today’s announcement crosses the T’s and dots the I’s and means construction on a national public charging infrastructure network in all 50 states can begin.
It builds on a charging roadmap we released back in 2021 that outlined a framework for federal and state-level investment in EV charging. We had recommendations on everything from power levels and charging speed to reliability and redundancy (the charging has got to work!) to payment methods to accessibility to charging near highways to station layout.
The EV transformation in this country is something to behold. Game changing vehicles (86 at last count) of all types… from most manufacturers… at many price points.
EVs are now about 7 percent of U.S. light-duty vehicle sales. Automakers are making massive, billion-dollar investments in EV and battery production in multiple states.
But our country seriously lags on publicly available EV charging infrastructure. That’s a fact. Most people who own an EV today charge at home. We’re just not adding public charging at a fast enough clip to keep up with projected EV sales.
I’m a broken record on public charging. We need more of it. Much more.
There are about 100,000 non-proprietary public charging outlets in this country. We’ve added 652,000 new EVs since the beginning of 2022… but just 20,300 new chargers. That’s 32 new EVs for every new public port.
Broken record, but that’s just not enough.
Reliable and ubiquitous public charging is fundamental to overcoming range anxiety and convincing undecided drivers that going electric is right for them.
Five billion dollars is a big down-payment on charging infrastructure. A public investment of this scale sends a signal that the country is committed to electrification. It will also help unlock additional private sector innovation to accelerate the automotive transformation.
Charging help is on the way.
John Bozzella is president and CEO of Alliance for Automotive Innovation.
Comments to U.S. Department of Transportation (January 2022) on development of guidance for ‘Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment’ and ‘Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program.’
EV Infrastructure Guiding Principles (September 2021) focus on EV charging infrastructure investments and developments broadly, including legislative and utility-based processes and policies that will support more customers as they buy or lease EVs.
Federal Highway Administration’s Final Rule on EV Charging and Minimum Standards
Federal Highway Administration’s Buy America Implementation Plan for EV Charging