USA announces next steps in national EV charging network


The Biden-Harris Administration in the USA has announced its latest actions to advance the President’s vision of building 500,000 EV chargers by 2030 and delivering a convenient, reliable, and Made-in-America electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

These next steps – publishing minimum standards for federally funded EV infrastructure, finalizing the Build America, Buy America implementation plan for EV charging equipment, and announcing that cities, towns, Tribes, and states will soon be able to apply for the first round of $2.5 billion in competitive grants to build EV charging stations in communities across the country – will electrify the great American road trip.

Pete Buttigieg

“This is a major step toward a world where every EV user will be able to find safe, reliable charging stations anywhere in the country,” said US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “We’re establishing common, universal standards for EV charging stations just like the ones for gas stations, so that recharging an EV away from home will be as predictable and accessible as filling up a gas tank.

“These announcements will address challenges to widespread EV adoption by clearing the path for a nation-wide network of chargers that is even more accessible and affordable than traditional gas stations,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This historic undertaking will spur economic growth powered by American workers who will deliver on President Biden’s goals for America to lead the world in EV manufacturing and adoption.”

The final minimum standards for federally funded EV charging infrastructure projects, and the implementation plan for President Biden’s EV charging Build America, Buy America requirements positions all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with every tool needed to build EV charging stations pursuant to their approved state charging plans developed under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.

These standards will help to ensure that chargers operated by different networks will operate similarly and provide the traveling public with a predictable EV charging experience – no matter what car you drive or what state you charge in.

These standards will also require that chargers have consistent plug types and charging speeds, common payment systems, and accessible pricing information, locations, and availability. In addition, these standards establish strong workforce training provisions, and will create and support good-paying, highly skilled jobs in communities across the country.

Shailen Bhatt

“The national standards we are announcing today will give EV users confidence that they will be able to find available, safe and reliable EV charging stations across the country,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “This is a critical step in building a seamless national network with common requirements for EV charging that will support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, help build a clean energy, and ensure those technologies and products are made here in America. We look forward to opening applications for community-based charging grants soon.”

Additionally, the new Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $2.5 billion over five years to a full range of applicants, including cities, counties, local governments, and Tribes. This round of funding will open soon, making $700 million from Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 funding available to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and other fueling infrastructure projects in urban and rural communities in publicly accessible locations, including downtown areas and local neighborhoods, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities.

FHWA, in coordination with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), plan to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance via multiple webinars throughout February and March and will continue to provide direct technical assistance to support states and communities as they build EV charging infrastructure. For more information from FHWA on President Biden’s landmark infrastructure legislation and investments in electric vehicles, please visit Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).