President Biden announces plans for nationwide EV charging expansion

On Thursday, the Biden Administration proposed new guidelines for a nationwide network of electric vehicle charging stations. It was the most recent step forward the Biden Administration’s push to encourage more Americans to switch to electric vehicles.

“Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new steps to meet President Biden’s goal to build out the first-ever national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along America’s highways and in communities, a key piece of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” the White House said.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will propose minimum standards and regulations for electric vehicle (EV) charging projects supported through a $5 billion federal initiative on Thursday. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “Everyone should be able to count on fast charging, fair pricing and easy-to-use payment,” according to Reuters.

Even as efforts to secure significant extra funding for EVs in Congress have stagnated due to the Build Back Better plan not being passed, the Biden Administration’s efforts to urge more Americans to switch to electric vehicles depend on the deployment of a nationwide network of fast, dependable EV charging stations. One of the most commonly mentioned issues with EV ownership is the concern that there is a lack of charging stations. While companies like Tesla and Electrify America have some of the most robust charging networks across the country, there is still a widespread concern about charger availability.

Biden wants to confront these concerns with at least 500,000 new EV charging stations and a goal to have 50 percent of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric by 2030.

According to the USDOT, the requirements help ensure that the government-funded EV charging network is “is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans, and interoperable between different charging companies, with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more.”

The Federal Highway Administration has proposed a new rule that would allow electric vehicle owners to use charging stations across the country that have identical payment mechanisms, pricing information, and charging rates. This would eliminate chargers that are only compatible with specific EV brands, which is how Tesla’s Superchargers operate. While the company has ventured into a pilot program in Europe that allows other EV brands to use its Superchargers, the same strategy has not yet been adopted in the United States. However, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have talked about this in the past.

Musk mentioned last July that it would open Supercharger to other EVs later in 2021. However, it was not explicitly mentioned that the United States would support this.

The goal is to have working charging stations whenever and wherever people need it, without having to worry about paying more. The standards would ensure that electric vehicle charging stations installed across the country can connect and use the same software systems. The laws would require sponsored EV charging stations to have at least four ports capable of fast charging four EVs at the same time, and charging stations would be prohibited from charging drivers who do not have a membership.

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