The White House and Departments of Transportation and Energy have pledged to commit $5 billion of investment from President Biden’s infrastructure bill to build out the national electric vehicle (EV) charging network.
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will make $615 million available in FY 2022 after states submit a development plan for how they plan to use the significant funds to upgrade and expand the network of charging stations.
"A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution," U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement. "The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help us win the EV race by working with states, labor, and the private sector to deploy a historic nationwide charging network that will make EV charging accessible for more Americans."
Several countries have started to ban the sale of fossil fuel vehicles with the goal of transitioning to zero emissions vehicles by 2040, and car companies followed suit by announcing plans to switch to zero emission vehicles over the next 20 years.
But some experts have warned that the current power grids and charging stations available cannot meet the surge in demand expected in that time: Ryan Sitton, a former Texas energy regulator and founder and CEO of Pinnacle Reliability, previously told FOX Business that EV adoption would likely impose a roughly 30% increase in demand on the national grid, while Tesla founder Elon Musk told Reuters it would double total global demand for electricity.
The White House therefore has moved to address the significant improvements needed to ensure that a transition to zero emissions and EVs can happen with as little problem as possible – despite the significant investment required.
NEVI will provide direct technical assistance to states to develop plains, mainly focusing on developing Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC) along the Interstate Highway System in hopes that it will prompt car owners to consider an EV due to the greater ease of access.
"Americans need to know that they can purchase an electric vehicle and find convenient charging stations when they are using Interstates and other major highways," Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said. "The new EV formula program will provide states with the resources they need to provide their residents with reliable access to an EV charging station as they travel."
A second grant program that aims to expand the network to rural and underserved communities will be announced later this year.