Electric vehicle charging stations have received a green light across the US.
All 50 states have been approved for EV charging stations covering 75,000 miles of highway, the US transportation department announced on Tuesday. The White House has approved plans that will give states access to $1.5bn in federal funding to build the chargers.
“We’re poised to lead in the 21st century with electric vehicles,” said the US transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, in a statement. “We have approved plans for all states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia to ensure that Americans in every part of the country – from the largest cities to the most rural communities – can be positioned to unlock the savings and benefits of electric vehicles.”
As part of his plan to address the climate crisis, Joe Biden has made a big push for the adoption of EVs. Last August, the president said he wanted half of all vehicle sales in the US to be electric by 2030. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US transportation department also reinstated new efficiency standards for vehicles, which were rolled back under Donald Trump, requiring new cars to produce 10% less greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2023. Further reductions of 5% a year will be required until 2026.
“The great American road trip is going to be fully electrified, whether you’re driving along the coast, or on I-75 here in Michigan,” Biden said at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier this month.
Funding for the EV charging network will come from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed last year. The bill allocates a total of $7.5bn for charging infrastructure, including $5bn for states to deploy charging stations and a $2.5bn competitive grant program for specific community programs.
Carmakers have been reorienting themselves around EVs, investing billions into EV battery and assembly plants, as they try to compete with EV automakers like Tesla and Rivian. Last October, GM said that its light-duty vehicles will all be zero-emissions by 2035. Ford doubled its annual production plans for its F-150 Lightning, its electric pickup.
Consumers seem to be slowly growing on EVs. There was a slight uptick in the purchase of fully electric vehicles, known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs), this year. Since May, BEVs have made up over 5% of the national market share for cars, compared to around 2% of market share in 2021.