Where the $7.5 billion for EV charging is needed most

The freshly signed infrastructure bill, one part of the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better agenda, includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging. 

While that sounds like a lot at first glance, it’s barely enough to get to Biden’s goal of 500,000 new charging stations nationwide by 2030. But it’s a solid start.

As Genevieve Cullen, president of the World Electric Drive Transportation Association, explained in a call Tuesday, “The bill contains multiple pathways … to promote electric vehicles and infrastructure.” 

Part of the funding is reserved for building more EV infrastructure in rural, lower income, and underserved areas. These are often places where potential EV owners and users don’t have access to charging an electric car at home or at work.

But it’s going to take a mix of federal and state agencies, car companies, charging networks, and EV advocates to get the money moving in a more electric direction. The “Build Back Better” Act is still working through Congress and will likely include an extended EV incentive plan to reduce the cost of buying electric.

Ben Prochazka, executive director of the nonprofit EV advocacy group The Electrification Coalition, said in a Tuesday call that no matter how the money is distributed, the carve out dedicated to EV charging makes this a “historic moment.”

“There’s more money being deployed for EVs than ever before,” he said. But it’s still going to take a concerted effort to get those charging stations up and running.

Public charging infrastructure is badly needed in many communities throughout the U.S.

HERE Technologies, a mapping interface, charted where EV charging is accessible  — and not so accessible. Looking at charger density and distribution, it found the counties with the lowest number of public chargers per capita.

A map of EV charging stations per capita.

An EV breakdown of the U.S.
Credit: HERE Technologies

The list of the not-so-EV-friendly counties includes: 

  1. Comanche County, Oklahoma (.83 EV stations per 100,000 people)

  2. Sebastian County, Arkansas (.78 stations/100k)

  3. Kendall County, Illinois (.76 stations/100k)

  4. Clark County, Ohio (.74 stations/100k)

  5. Randall County, Texas (.71 stations/100k)

  6. Livingston Parish, Louisiana (.70 stations/100k)

  7. Jackson County, Mississippi (.70 stations/100k)

  8. Cumberland County, New Jersey (.65 stations/100k)

  9. Hernando County, Florida (.51 stations/100k)

  10. Shelby County, Alabama (.45 stations/100k)

Many places are in the southeast and south, which is likely where the bulk of the funding will be focused during the initial push for more chargers.

For contrast, charging stations abound in places like California, Colorado, and Oregon. In Alpine County, California, for instance, there are 581.4 EV stations per 100,000 people. The U.S. is a big country with big disparities when it comes to EV friendliness.

As Prochazka said, “We need to catch up quickly,” in terms of EV adoption, compared to places like Europe and China. “So we’re not running from behind.”

Source: Mashable

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