$2.5B from Feds for EV chargers aimed at under-served US regions

.5B from Feds for EV chargers aimed at under-served US regions

WASHINGTON – The federal government on Tuesday announced $2.5 billion in new grants to build electric vehicle charging stations and alternative fuel infrastructure, partly aimed at increasing access in underserved neighborhoods and communities.

Known as the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure or CFI program, the grants will be awarded over a five-year period, with an emphasis on both highway chargers, but also locations in traditionally underserved and disadvantaged urban, rural and tribal communities.

A statement from the Department for Transport said the grant would be targeted at “filling gaps in the national charging and alternative-fuel network”.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the statement that the overarching goal is to “modernize our infrastructure and create great jobs in the process.”

He described the fresh funding as “another major step in creating an EV future that is convenient, affordable, reliable and accessible to all Americans.”

The $2.5 billion in funding is split evenly across two tracks: a community program that seeks to strategically distribute chargers to under-served locations in cities and communities; and a corridor program, which would focus on highways with the goal of establishing alternative fuel corridors to enable gasoline-free cross-country travel and long-distance trucking.

The money builds on $5 billion set aside in federal money specifically dedicated to developing a nationwide network of EV chargers along highways. The Biden administration is prioritizing construction on highway routes that could allow EV drivers to go longer distances, now at the expense of neighborhoods, shopping centers and apartment dwellings in more urban areas where chargers are in relatively high demand .

Established by a bipartisan directive passed by Congress in November 2021, the grants fall under the umbrella of President Joe Biden’s public goal of installing 500,000 public EV charging stations and reducing national greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by the year 2030. ,

The department did not specify how many chargers it expects to help make up the latest round of funding. Direct-current fast chargers, which can charge a car to 80% of its battery capacity in 20 to 45 minutes, are quite expensive, costing $40,000 to $100,000, limiting the numbers that can be made, but they help drivers Enable you to get back quickly on a road such as a highway. Level 2 chargers are cheaper to cost but take a few hours to charge an EV, and are usually placed in neighborhoods and near schools, stores and offices.

In addition to electric chargers, the grant will fund the installation of more hydrogen, propane, or natural gas refueling infrastructure. The EV charger funding will target new charging stations in public buildings, schools and parks, as well as publicly accessible parking garages.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the new grants would provide a much-needed push for the growing electric vehicle industry. The rapid expansion of the electric vehicle market has put a strain on infrastructure in many cities, making consumers reluctant – especially for residents who can’t easily charge at home.

“Ensuring that charging stations are more visible and accessible in our communities removes concerns many American drivers have when considering switching to electric,” Granholm said in a statement.


Associated Press writer Hope Yen contributed to this report.

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