U.S. Approves EV Charging Station Plans, Covering Over 120,000 Kms of Highway

The U.S. Transportation Department (USDOT) announced on Tuesday it has approved electric vehicle (EV) charging station plans for all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. The plans will cover a total of 75,000 miles (120,700 kms) of highways. Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill, signed into law last November, will provide $5 billion to help states install EV chargers along interstate highways over five years. The USDOT said states currently have access to more than $1.5 billion to help build EV chargers. The White House announced earlier this month it had approved 35 of the 50 state plans.

USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration has not yet revealed how many charging stations the funds would support.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg said earlier this year they would not dictate states about how to go on with their plans, but they must meet basic standards.

USDOT said states should fund DC Fast Chargers; stations should have at least four ports capable of simultaneously charging four EVs and install EV charging infrastructure every 50 miles (80.5 kms) along interstate highways and be located within 1 mile of highways.

Federal funds will cover 80% of EV charging costs, with private or state funds making up the balance.

Biden aims the U.S. to have 50% of all vehicle sales to be electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030, together with 500,000 new charging stations. Still, he has not endorsed phasing out new combustion engine vehicle sales by 2035.

California’s Air Resources Board in August voted to require all new vehicles sold in the state by 2035 to be either electric or plug-in electric hybrids, a landmark move that could speed the end of gasoline-powered vehicles but must still be approved by the Biden administration before it can take effect.

California will allow automakers to sell up to 20% of 2035 models as plug-in hybrids.

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