The Biden Administration intends to put electric vehicles on track for 50 percent market share in the United States by 2030, and the recently-passed $1 trillion infrastructure bill will play a key role in achieving that vision. EV adoption has been hindered by two main obstacles: the cost to consumers, and the woefully inadequate patchwork of charging networks in this country. For the former, tweaks to the current electric vehicle tax credit system are being debated in the US Senate right now. On the latter, the White House released a plan on Monday that calls for a new joint office from the Departments of Energy and Transportation that will be tasked with spending $7.5 billion to effectively quintuple the American public charger network to 500,000 stalls and develop a universal charging standard.
In a release from the White House on its EV Charging Action Plan, the Biden Administration declared the joint office will begin by meeting with stakeholders at every level, from state and local governments to automakers to labor unions to environmental groups. It will then take all that information and produce both federal standards for chargers and formalized guidance to states on how to best roll them out. Concurrently, the office will also work with car companies and charger manufacturers to ensure the industry is prepared to meet these demands while still prioritizing American-made components.
In anticipation of receiving billions in federal funds over the next five years, specifically for electric vehicles from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Whitmer’s directive is designed to support the state’s automotive industry while creating jobs and working to save drivers time and money.
“Right now, we have an historic opportunity to put Michiganders first and use the billions in funding we are expected to receive under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to save drivers time and money while creating good-paying clean energy jobs for Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “With this executive directive, we are getting ready to deliver critical resources to communities across Michigan, empowering them to build up electric vehicle charging infrastructure and help the state continue leading the future of mobility and electrification. This directive, along with ongoing tax credit incentives for consumers, will help boost Michigan’s economy as Michiganders continue purchasing electric vehicles and supporting the electrification of Ford, Stellantis, and GM. The new bipartisan infrastructure bill will build on work we have already done in this space and help us usher in a new era of prosperity for our state. I look forward to working with the legislature to invest these dollars and get the job done.”
National Electric Highway Coalition Member Service Territory
The National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC) is a collaboration among electric companies that are committed to providing EV fast charging stations that will allow the public to drive EVs with confidence along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023. The NEHC is the largest such alliance of electric companies that have organized around the common goal of deploying EV fast charging infrastructure to support the growing number of EVs and to help ensure that the transition to EVs is seamless for drivers.
On Tuesday 2021.12.07 the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) announced the formation of the NEHC, which merges the Electric Highway Coalition and the Midwest Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Collaboration and now includes additional participating electric companies from across the country.
Currently consisting of 51 investor-owned electric companies, one electric cooperative, and the Tennessee Valley Authority, the coalition is committed to providing EV fast charging ports that will allow the public to drive EVs with confidence along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023.
Ten years ago, electric vehicles made up less than one quarter of one percent of total U.S. car sales. But after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we’re on track to install thousands of electric vehicle charging stations across the country.
This will be the first-ever U.S. investment in electric vehicle charging stations. Let me repeat that. For the first time ever in American history, the federal government would be funding the necessary charging infrastructure that we need to transition away from gas-powered cars.
Here’s why this matters:
In the U.S., transportation is the greatest contributor to climate warming emissions, and the majority of those emissions come from everyday cars and trucks. Personal vehicles also emit toxic air pollution which harms our health. That’s why PIRG has been working for years to increase adoption of clean, emissions-free electric vehicles (EVs) by calling for 100% of car sales to be fully electric by 2035 (or sooner). To get there, we need to do three things: make electric vehicles cheaper and easier for people to buy, strengthen emission standards and build out infrastructure to support electric cars.
The bipartisan infrastructure package puts one of those key pieces of the puzzle into place.
The new investment from National Highways will create around 20 ESSs, which are like giant battery packs, in the next two years. They will be installed at service stations at the furthest reaches of the Strategic Road Network, where the grid supply is not at the requisite level for rapid charging.
The ESSs work by drawing power from the grid in quiet periods, storing it and making it accessible for rapid charging when it is needed.
In time, it is hoped that all service stations on the road network will be able to access enough power for rapid charging without the ESSs.