US Invests in Affordable EV Charging Infrastructure, Works to Fill Gaps

EV charger charging a vehicle

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Jan 22, 2024

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The Department of Treasury and the Department of Energy are adding new investments to support eligible beneficiaries of electric vehicle tax credits in the United States, working to make EV chargers more affordable and to fill gaps in the current charging network.

The departments are to release intended definitions for census tracts eligible for the 30C EV charging tax credit, which reportedly amounts to about two-thirds of Americans. The tax credit covers up to 30% of the cost associated with installing an EV charger and targets low-income communities and non-urban areas. The DOE has also released a mapping tool to help households and businesses identify their tax credit eligibility.

An additional $325 million in new investments will also be made across three programs to increase the reliability and resilience of public chargers, advance EV technologies, and support workforce development for EV charging installation and maintenance.

For example, Oregon Tradeswomen will receive funding to recruit and train people from diverse backgrounds for electrical apprenticeships, and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York at the University of Buffalo will receive funding to develop a resiliency plan for New Jersey transit electrification. The DOT also plans nearly $149 million in grants for EV charger maintenance, expected to bring about 4,500 EV charging ports back online.

The new funding overall intends to support the repair and replacements of existing, non-operational chargers, reduce costs for deploying charging infrastructure, and cut battery costs.

EVs Become More Widespread, Room for Growth Remains

With the Biden administration’s focus on expanding the EV charging network and lowering the cost of EVs, sales have reportedly quadrupled over the course of the presidency, and prices have decreased by about 20% from this time last year. Further, publicly available charging ports have reportedly grown by over 70%. The administration said it has so far seen the installation 170,000 EV chargers and maintains a goal of installing 500,000 chargers by 2026.

With a projected 26.4 million EVs on the road by 2030, the transmission and distribution network will reportedly need to expand rapidly, or by about 60% by 2030. A number of companies have committed to expanding EV charging throughout the country, including automakers like BMW, GM, and Honda, along with charging companies like EVgo and Francis Energy.

Administration Bolsters Domestic Manufacturing for EV Chargers

The administration has also worked to support U.S.-based production of EV chargers to support the domestic workforce and reduce reliance on Chinese manufacturing. Some parties are concerned that this focus on domestic manufacturing may not allow EV infrastructure to rapidly grow the levels needed. Nonetheless, at least 40 U.S.-based charger factories have been announced or opened during the Biden presidency, which are all said to be capable of producing more than 1 million EV chargers each year.

Tax credits for consumers interested in purchasing an EV also remain, allowing for $7,500 off the price of many new EVs and $4,000 off the price of used EVs.

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