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biden-electric-car-charging-stations-thefutureparty

The White House lights up EV charge-port plan

biden-electric-car-charging-stations-thefutureparty
electric car charging // Illustration by Kate Walker

The White House lights up EV charge-port plan

 

Future. The Biden Administration is ready to flip the switch on its country-wide EV plan, earmarking $5 billion to build charging stations. With a proposed 500,000 charging stations to be available in the U.S. by 2030 (the same time most car companies will go fully electric), no one may be driving a gas-powered vehicle when the decade comes to a close.

Plug-in, America
The Departments of Energy and Transportation announced in a statement that they would be investing $5 billion over five years to help states build out EV-charging infrastructure.

  • $615 million will be available in the first year of the program.
  • States need to submit proposals by August to access funds, focusing on shoring up charging stations along “Alternative Fuel Corridors” (i.e., interstate highways).
  • It’s expected that states will hire private companies to actually install and maintain the charging stations.
  • After corridors are charged up (sorry), states can then receive funding to build EV chargers in public places, “like transit stations, schools, and parking lots.”

The Biden Administration’s ambition is for there to be 500,000 public EV chargers throughout the country. That’s about 400,000 more than are currently available (but it’s unclear if $5 billion will get us there). The EV charging stations are expected to fully charge a modern EV in 30-45 minutes.

Highway headaches
The ramp-up in charging infrastructure construction — thanks to the infrastructure bill — comes just as many of America’s top auto manufacturers make a hard pivot to electric. Ford is set to debut its F-150 Lightning in the coming months, with Chevy rolling out an EV SUV next year. Bottom line: everybody wants to be Tesla (or, at least, as successful).

Dozens of car companies say they plan on being fully electric by 2030, which is about as perfect timing as you can get with The White House’s plan. But will it come soon enough for drivers? The University of California at Davis found that one in five EV adopters switched back to gas because of the lack of available chargers.