U.S. Electric Vehicle Charging Initiative Has Made Little Progress in Three Years

June 7, 2024
Only seven stations have been deployed since the $5 billion program was launched in 2021, prompting backlash from lawmakers.

Though a $5-billion U.S. government program to expand electric vehicle charging across the nation was established three years ago, only seven stations have been deployed since its inception, reports Reuters.

The seven charging stations are equipped with a combined total of a few dozen charging ports, according to Shailen Bhatt, head of the Federal Highway Administration (FHA).

When this information was disclosed during a recent Senate Environment and Public Works committee hearing, it prompted Senator Jeff Merkley to express harsh disappointment.

“That is pathetic. We're now three years into this ... That is a vast administrative failure,” remarked Merkley. “Something is terribly wrong and it needs to be fixed.”

Merkley continued to criticize existing federal highway rules preventing EV charging stations from being placed at rest stops. Bhatt concurred, adding that FHA is working with states on formulating plans for EV charger development, though it can be difficult when states are handling multiple programs.

The U.S. had 183,000 public charging ports as of December. Since the beginning of Biden’s administration, there’s been a 90% increase in the number of fast charging ports. The government’s current goal is to expand the number of charging ports to 500,000, placed no more than 50 miles apart. 

According to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, 27 states have submitted commercial requests for EV charging stations, and 1,000 in public spaces are expected to launch by the end of the year. With many of the proposed areas not yet having access to electricity, obstacles still remain–but Bhatt affirmed that the U.S. will meet its goal for EV chargers regardless.

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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