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Biden administration green lights funds for nationwide electric vehicle charging network

Cabinet members leading the charge say it’s part of the push to make charging electric vehicles more accessible.
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 4:55 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - The fuel of the future is electric, according to Secretaries of Energy and Transportation, Jennifer Granholm and Pete Buttigieg, who say they want to make it easier to come by.

The Biden administration announced Thursday that a portion of $5 billion of federal funding, over five years, is available to states that have a plan to upgrade or create new electric vehicle charging stations.

It’s part of the bipartisan infrastructure law, signed late last year. Each state must apply in order to receive a portion of the funding.

“This is about making sure everybody can get in on the EV revolution, it’s already happening, but we have to make sure that it’s made in America; that everyone benefits from cities to rural areas,” said Secretary Buttigieg.

Eventually, the administration says they want to expand charging in rural and underserved areas, but this round is intended for infrastructure along interstate highways or alternative fuel corridors.

“We want people to not have range anxiety, then we focus on areas where we haven’t seen a big uptake in electric vehicles. Maybe they are in urban areas. It might be poor communities,” said Granholm.

Electric vehicles made up less than 3% of new auto sales last year. Though that number is expected to increase within the next decade, Granholm acknowledges one significant roadblock: the cost.

“This is exactly why the president has pushed, as part of the Build Back Better agenda to have tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles, both new and used ones,” Granholm said.

The Build Back Better Act is stalled in the U.S. Senate.

State applications for electric vehicle funding are due on Aug. 1. Granholm said she expects construction to begin later this year.

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