Biden administration rolls out $100 million to address major obstacle to electric vehicles
The Biden Administration announced on Wednesday a new federal funding initiative of $100 million to improve the availability and reliability public electric vehicle charging station across the United States. This is an effort to solve the major obstacle that drivers say prevents them from switching to gas-powered cars.
According to government data, the funds will be allocated to thousands of chargers in the United States that are listed as being “temporarily unavailable” at the moment.
In a press release, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated that “this funding represents the latest steps toward building a convenient and affordable charging network which reaches every corner in our country.”
Funds will be made available to public and private charging stations as long as the stations are accessible to the public. The Department of Transportation stated that the funds would likely cover all eligible projects’ repair or replacement costs. The Department of Energy reported that as of Tuesday only 6,261, or 4.1% of the 151,506 charging ports in public places were available.
Buttigieg said in an article for the Wall Street Journal that he had difficulty finding charging stations to work with his hybrid minivan. Jennifer Granholm, Energy Secretary, also ran into trouble recently when a Georgia family contacted the police to report her staff because they had blocked a charging station for her.
The President Joe Biden, along with Democrats, have committed massive funding to improving the charging system. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act included $5 billion for states to build charging stations. The 2022 Democratic Inflation Reduction Act provides tax credits for fast chargers.
Many Americans still have limited access to charging infrastructure, particularly those who use street parking or public chargers to charge their vehicles.
According to the latest estimate of the Biden administration, the U.S. currently has over 3 million EVs in use, and approximately 103,000 EV chargers that are publicly accessible. This is equivalent to one charger per 29 EVs.
J.D. Power conducted a study that found public chargers are not viewed with satisfaction. Power has found that public chargers are not being used as much.
Stewart Stropp is executive director for EV Intelligence at J.D. Power.
He said that the growth of public charging has not kept pace with the increasing number of EVs.