In a significant move towards bolstering the United States’ electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and fostering clean energy employment, the Biden-Harris Administration has unveiled a funding injection of US$46.5 million (AUD$70.6 million) to support 30 projects across 16 states and Washington, D.C. These projects are designed to enhance the performance, resilience, and reliability of EV charging networks, promote equitable access to sustainable transportation solutions, and stimulate the growth of the clean energy workforce.
Since President Biden’s inauguration, the number of EVs on American roads has quadrupled, underscoring the increasing demand for EV infrastructure. The allocated funds are an integral part of the Administration’s ambitious objective to establish a nationwide network of 500,000 public EV charging ports by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm emphasized the significance of these investments, stating, “President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda is supporting the buildout of an affordable and reliable EV charging infrastructure built by America’s workers. Today’s funding helps drive the nation forward toward an equitable clean transportation future – one that energizes local economies and builds more resilient communities.”
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the Administration’s commitment to securing the nation’s position in the global EV market. He stated, “The Biden-Harris Administration is focused on ensuring that America wins the EV race, capturing good-paying jobs and the benefits of a clean energy manufacturing economy. These funds are part of that mission, helping to grow our new automotive economy with EVs and EV chargers that are made in America by American workers.”
Gabe Klein, Executive Director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, expressed pride in funding these transformative projects, highlighting their potential to meet local needs, create well-paying jobs, innovate new business models, and simplify electric transportation for everyone.
Transitioning towards electric vehicles is not just an environmental imperative but also offers numerous benefits, such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower fuel and maintenance costs, and enhanced national energy security. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Program, administered by the Federal Highway Administration and supported by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, allocate a combined $7.5 billion to establish a comprehensive, reliable national EV charging network accessible where people live, work, and shop.
The latest announcement of $46.5 million, overseen by the Joint Office, builds on this substantial federal funding by making targeted investments in areas requiring immediate attention:
EV Charging Resiliency: As the electrification of transportation accelerates, the projects aim to ensure resilient EV charging infrastructure for all usersCommunity-Driven Models and Workforce Development: By installing EV chargers in or near underserved communities and developing innovative business models focused on energy justice, these initiatives will provide equitable access to clean transportation options for all Americans.EV Charging Performance and Reliability: Increasing the commercial capacity for testing and certifying high-power EV chargers and validating real-world performance and reliability will enable a high-quality, safe, and reliable charging experience for all EV drivers.The projects will support clean transit and school bus deployment, bolster charger resiliency against natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires, and accelerate workforce development through pre-apprenticeship programs. These initiatives aim to extend the benefits of clean transportation, access to charging, and effective workforce development to communities across the nation, including rural, urban, and tribal areas. Moreover, several projects will leverage complementary funding from other federal programs, ensuring community success through a multiplier effect.
Today’s funding awards will enhance charger reliability by funding validation and testing of charging equipment, promoting new business models for electrified shared mobility and fleet-based services, and increasing opportunities for underserved communities through new jobs and training resources.
This funding opportunity has been made available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which seeks to expedite the electrification of the nation’s transportation sector and stimulate private sector investments in clean transportation.