By Jacob Fischler
The federal government will send $2.5 billion over the next five years to states, local governments and tribes to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Biden administration officials said Tuesday.
The new Charging and Fueling Infrastructure grant program, which was authorized by the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law, will spend $2.5 billion over five years to build electric vehicle charging stations and refueling infrastructure for hydrogen, propane or natural-gas vehicles.
Administration officials told reporters in a press call Monday the program would help President Joe Biden meet his goal of 500,000 public charging stations by the end of the decade. Officials briefed reporters on the condition they would not be named.
Biden has also set a goal of reducing national greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2030. Gas-powered vehicles account for about one-quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
The grant funding will be evenly split between designated alternative-fuel corridors and public facilities like parking lots, schools and parks.
“With today’s announcement, we are taking another big step forward in creating an EV future that is convenient, affordable, reliable, and accessible to all Americans,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a written statement.
Applications for the first two years of funding, which will include $700 million in grants, opened Tuesday and are due by May 30.
The grant program adds to other recent federal spending on electric vehicle charging stations.
Each state will also receive a share of a separate $1.5 billion fund the federal government made available for charging stations last year. Each state developed a plan for building an electric vehicle charging network. The Federal Highway Administration, the Transportation Department agency that administers federal highway funding to states, approved each state plan last year.
States will not have to apply for grants to receive funding under that program, instead receiving funding based on a predetermined formula that factors in things like population and miles of road.
Last month, the administration finalized standards for charging stations, including a requirement that components will eventually have to be sourced in the United States. Most material needed for electric vehicle charging stations is not yet available domestically.
This story first appeared in the Oregon Capital Chronicle.