Biden admin unleashes $2.5B for EV charger network

By Andres Picon | 03/14/2023 01:38 PM EDT

The new grant program will grow the national electric vehicle charger network by putting charging infrastructure in urban and rural communities.

An electric vehicle is plugged into a charger

An electric vehicle is plugged into a charger in Los Angeles on Aug. 25, 2022. Jae C. Hong/AP File Photo

The Biden administration on Tuesday announced $2.5 billion in funding to extend the coast-to-coast network of electric vehicle chargers from highways to cities, towns and rural areas.

The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure discretionary grant program will complement the $5 billion in funding announced last year to put EV chargers every 50 miles along interstate highways by filling in gaps and putting charging ports in the places where Americans live and work.

It’s the second tranche of money from the bipartisan infrastructure law dedicated to achieving President Joe Biden’s goal of building an American-made network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030. The network is the centerpiece of the administration’s effort to stimulate EV adoption as it looks to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and slash greenhouse gas emissions.


“By helping bring EV charging to communities across the country, this administration is modernizing our infrastructure and creating good jobs in the process,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With today’s announcement, we are taking another big step forward in creating an EV future that is convenient, affordable, reliable and accessible to all Americans.”

Grants will be distributed over the next five years to state transportation agencies, local governments, Native American tribes and U.S. territories, with a focus on helping underserved and disadvantaged communities.

The administration will release $700 million in the first round.

Half of the funds will go toward putting infrastructure for electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas fueling in places such as parking lots, shopping hubs, schools and parks. The other half will put fueling stations along designated “alternative fuel corridors,” helping to bridge gaps on highly traveled routes.

“Extending EV charging infrastructure into traditionally underserved areas will ensure that equitable and widespread EV adoption takes hold,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “Ensuring that charging stations are more visible and accessible in our communities addresses the concerns many American drivers have when considering making the switch to electric.”

The Transportation and Energy departments last month released minimum standards and requirements for the charger network, giving states the assurance to put out bids for the construction of charging stations. The new funding is also expected to assuage concerns — especially from more rural states — about the affordability of putting chargers in areas with lower use rates (Energywire, Feb. 14).

The notice of funding opportunity was published Tuesday. Grant applications are due May 30.