The Biden-Harris Administration has announced its latest set of actions which it says is aimed at creating a convenient, reliable and made-in-America electric vehicle (EV) charging network. These steps will help the United States meet the president’s goal to build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers and that EVs make up at least 50% of new car sales by 2030.
Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $7.5 billion in EV charging, $10 billion in clean transportation, and over $7 billion in EV battery components, critical minerals, and materials. These flagship programs complement the Inflation Reduction Act’s support for advanced batteries and new and expanded tax credits for purchases of EVs and to support installations of charging infrastructure, as well as dozens of other federal initiatives designed to drive domestic manufacturing and build a national network of EV charging, the Administration says.
The Administration’s actions include:
- The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Department of Energy, finalized new standards to make charging EVs convenient and reliable for all Americans, including when driving long distances. The new standards will ensure everyone can use the network, no matter what car you drive or which state you charge in, the Administration says. The standards also require strong workforce standards;
- The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) outlined its final plan for compliance with the Build America, Buy America Act for federally funded EV chargers. Effective immediately, all EV chargers funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law must be built in the United States. The plan requires that, effective immediately, final assembly and all manufacturing processes for any iron or steel charger enclosures or housing occur in the United States. By July 2024, at least 55% of the cost of all components will need to be manufactured domestically as well;
- The new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation released a notice of intent to issue a funding opportunity for its Ride and Drive Electric research and development program. The Administration says this program will advance the goal of building a national network of EV chargers for all Americans by supporting EV charging reliability, resiliency, equity, and workforce development;
- The Department of Energy announced $7.4 million in funding for seven projects to develop innovative medium-and heavy-duty EV charging and hydrogen corridor infrastructure plans serving millions of Americans across 23 states; and,
- FHWA announced details for its soon-to-launch Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) discretionary grant program. The program will make available more than $2.5 billion over five years – including $700 million in funding through the first round of funding available to states, localities, Tribes, territories, and public authorities – to deploy publicly accessible charging and alternative fueling infrastructure in communities across the country, including at schools, grocery stores, parks, libraries, apartment complexes, and everywhere else Americans live and work.
The FHWA, with support from the Joint Office, also unveiled new national standards for federally funded EV chargers, including NEVI-funded (National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure) chargers. All 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico are participating in the NEVI program and initial investments will electrify over 75,000 miles of the national highway system. These standards will direct federal dollars to build out a national EV charging network that is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible so that charging is as easy as filling up at a gas station, the FHWA says. Until now, there were no comprehensive standards for the installation, operation, or maintenance of EV charging stations, and disparities exist among EV charging stations in key areas, such as connector types, payment methods, data privacy, speed and power of chargers, reliability, and the overall user experience.
The FHWA says the standards will ensure that:
- Charging is a predictable and reliable experience, by ensuring that there are consistent plug types, power levels, and a minimum number of chargers capable of supporting drivers’ fast-charging needs;
- Chargers are working when drivers need them to, by requiring a 97% uptime reliability requirement;
- Drivers can easily find a charger when they need to, by providing publicly accessible data on locations, price, availability, and accessibility through mapping applications;
- Drivers do not have to use multiple apps and accounts to charge, by requiring that a single method of identification works across all chargers; and,
- Chargers will support drivers’ needs well into the future, by requiring compatibility with forward-looking capabilities like Plug and Charge.
- The standards will also help to ensure that these investments in EV charging create good-paying jobs and that EV chargers are well-serviced by requiring strong workforce standards such as Registered Apprenticeships and the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP). Through the White House Talent Pipeline Challenge, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has certified 20,000 electricians through EVITP.
Companies including Tesla, General Motors, EVgo, Pilot, Hertz and BP, among others, are announcing new commitments to expand their networks by thousands of public charging ports in the next two years, using private funds to complement federal dollars. Combined, these companies will add more than 100,000 public chargers available for all EVs.
The full list of companies includes:
- Tesla, for the first time, will open a portion of its U.S. Supercharger and Destination Charger network to non-Tesla EVs, making at least 7,500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. The open chargers will be distributed across the United States. They will include at least 3,500 new and existing 250 kW Superchargers along highway corridors to expand freedom of travel for all EVs, and Level 2 Destination Charging at locations like hotels and restaurants in urban and rural locations. All EV drivers will be able to access these stations using the Tesla app or website. Additionally, Tesla will more than double its full nationwide network of Superchargers, manufactured in Buffalo, New York.
- Hertz and BP are announcing their intention to build out a national network of EV fast-charging infrastructure to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. Hertz and BP intend to bring charging infrastructure to Hertz locations across America, including major cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The charging hubs will serve rideshare and taxi drivers, car rental customers and the general public at high-demand locations, such as airports. A number of installations are expected to include large-scale charging hubs, known as “Gigahubs.” BP aims to invest $1 billion in EV charging in the US by 2030. Hertz’s objective is to make one-quarter of its fleet electric by the end of 2024.
- Pilot Company, General Motors, and EVgo have partnered to build a coast-to-coast network of 2,000 high-power 350 kW fast chargers at Pilot and Flying J travel centers along American highways. The nationwide network of up to 500 travel centers will enable long-distance EV travel by connecting urban and rural communities. Today, the companies are announcing that the first 200+ chargers in this network are expected to be available for use by drivers in 2023.
- TravelCenters of America and Electrify America announced that they will offer electric vehicle charging at select Travel Centers of America and Petro locations, with a goal of installing approximately 1,000 EV chargers at 200 locations along major highways over the next five years.
- Electrify America recently held the official groundbreaking of Electrify America Solar Glow 1, the new 75 MW solar PV project in San Bernardino County, CA, to help back all energy delivered to EV drivers with renewable energy across more than 800 DC fast-charging stations nationwide.
- Mercedes-Benz, ChargePoint, and MN8 Energy announced a partnership to deploy over 400 charging hubs with more than 2,500 publicly accessible DC fast-charging ports across the U.S. and Canada.
- ChargePoint, Volvo Cars, and Starbucks announced a partnership to deploy 60 DC fast chargers at up to 15 locations along the 1,350-mile pilot route between Seattle and Denver to be completed by summer 2023.
- General Motors, in partnership with FLO, has announced a collaborative effort with dealers to install up to 40,000 public Level 2 EV chargers in local communities by 2026 through GM’s Dealer Community Charging Program. The new charging stations will join the GM’s Ultium Charge 360 network and will be available to all EV drivers.
- Francis Energy, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based EV charge point operator, is expanding into 40 states in 2023, with plans to install 50,000 EV charging ports by 2030 in partnership with municipalities, auto dealers, Tribal Nations, and private businesses. Currently, 75% of Francis Energy’s network is in Justice40 communities.
- Forum Mobility, a zero-emission trucking solutions provider, recently announced a $400 million commitment to deploy over 1,000 DC fast chargers. The charging infrastructure will serve the thousands of heavy-duty electric trucks projected to begin operating at the San Pedro and Oakland ports in California over the next decade. The community charging depots will create over 600 new union jobs in disadvantaged communities while reducing harmful emissions at the ports and along freight corridors.
- Ford has committed to installing at least one public-facing DC Fast charger with two ports at 1,920 Ford dealerships by January 2024.