White House releases plan to grow US’s EV charging network to 500,000 stations

The White House released today its plan on spending the $7.5 billion on electric vehicle infrastructure with the goal to grow the US’s national EV charging network to 500,000 charging stations.

While a lot of the focus right now is on the Build Back Better Act being discussed in the Senate, the government passed another infrastructure bill earlier this year that already had significant investments for electric vehicles.

It included $7.5 billion for EV infrastructure and $7.5 billion to electrify public transport.

Today, the White House released what it calls the “Biden-⁠Harris Electric Vehicle Charging Action Plan” to spend the former.

As of now, the actions are still mainly about creating a framework to distribute the money – most of which will be for states to spend.

But the overall goal is to take the number of EV charging stations in the US from 100,000 to 500,000.

In short, the government is now talking to EV charging stakeholders to best understand their needs and make sure that the money will be cycled through the US to not only deploy the stations, but also build them here.

Here are all the specific actions that the White House announced today:

  • Establishing a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation: Tomorrow, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will sign an agreement enabling them to leverage the best resources, talent, and experience at the DOT and the DOE, including the DOE’s National Labs. The Joint Office will ensure the agencies can work together to implement the EV charging network and other electrification provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This will provide states, communities, industry, labor, and consumer groups with a coordinated federal approach and a “one-stop-shop” for resources on EV Charging and related topics. The agencies will complete a Memorandum of Understanding on December 14 to formally launch the Joint Office.
  • Gathering Diverse Stakeholder Input: The White House is convening a series of initial stakeholder meetings on topics including partnerships with state and local government, domestic manufacturing, equity and environmental justice, civil rights, partnering with tribal communities, and maximizing environmental benefits. DOT and DOE will also launch a new Advisory Committee on Electric Vehicles and is targeting to appoint members to this committee by the end of the first quarter of 2022. DOT released an updated guide to deploying EV Charging in highway right-of-way in response to stakeholder interest. To gather input from the widest possible array of stakeholders, DOT has a new EV Charging Request for Information, where stakeholders can submit their priorities for Federal standards and guidance for consideration.
  • Preparing to Issue Guidance and Standards for States and Cities: The Administration is already hard at work developing the guidance and standards described in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. No later than February 11, DOT will publish guidance for states and cities to strategically deploy EV charging stations to build out a national network along our nation’s highway system. This guidance will look at where we already have EV charging and where we need—or will need—more of it. It will focus on the needs of disadvantaged and rural communities, catalyze further private investment in EV charging, and ensure we’re smartly connecting to our electric grid. No later than May 13, DOT will publish standards for EV chargers in the national network to ensure they work, they’re safe, and they’re accessible to everyone.
  • Requesting Information from Domestic Manufacturers: EV charger manufacturing, assembly, installation, and maintenance all have the potential to not only support our sustainability and climate goals, but also to drive domestic competitiveness and create good-paying, union jobs in the United States. To ensure this network of EV chargers can be built in America, by America, DOT and DOE are working directly with manufacturers, automakers and labor to understand what domestic sourcing is available today, and what may be possible in the future.  In November, DOT and DOE  released a request for information from domestic manufacturers to identify EV chargers and other charging related components that meet USDOT Buy America requirements and to highlight the benefits of shifting all manufacturing and assembly processes to the United States.
  • New Solicitation for Alternative Fuel Corridors: Today, the DOT is announcing a forthcoming solicitation for the 6th round of Alternative Fuel Corridors designations. This program, created by the FAST Act in 2015, recognizes highway segments that have infrastructure plans to allow travel on alternative fuels, including electricity. FHWA will establish a recurring process to regularly update these corridors.

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