by Thomas Catenacci
President Joe Biden’s ambitious $5 billion plan to construct an electric vehicle charging network across the country would prioritize the Interstate Highway System.
The federal government will distribute the funds to states over the course of five years under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, according to a joint Department of Transportation and Energy Department announcement Thursday. In 2022, $615 million will be made available to states that submit plans for how the money will be used to construct chargers along the interstate highway network, the announcement said.
“A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” 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.”
The federal agencies said they would announce plans for EV charging in “rural and underserved communities” at a later date, but would first allocate funding for highway stations.
In November 2021, Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure bill which included the NEVI program, the government’s first-ever investment in nationwide EV charging infrastructure. The program is also intended to promote EV purchases, the Federal Highway Administration previously said.
“It’s going to change the dynamic of how — not only how we travel, but the economy along the way,” Biden remarked at the White House on Wednesday.
The president hosted Australian EV charger manufacturer Tritium at the White House on Tuesday in an effort to promote the program. The company plans to eventually produce up to 30,000 chargers per year at a facility in Tennessee.
“We are modernizing America’s national highway system for drivers in cities large and small, towns and rural communities, to take advantage of the benefits of driving electric,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said.
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping states to make electric vehicle charging more accessible by building the necessary infrastructure for drivers across America to save money and go the distance, from coast-to-coast,” Granholm said.
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Thomas Catenacci is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Electric Car Charger” by Oregon Department of Transportation CC BY 2.0.