The Biden administration just made good on one of its promises to make EV charger funding available to local governments. The Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for its $2.5 billion Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, which will hand out funds to cities, counties, regional governments and tribes to help deploy EV chargers, hydrogen fuel stations and other reduced-emissions systems near their residents.
Half of the program’s funding will go to chargers and stations in “publicly accessible” places like parking facilities, parks and schools. The rest will install this equipment in “alternative fuel corridors” along highways to help with long-distance travel. The initial round of funding will make $700 million available, with the rest coming over the program’s five-year span. Officials have to apply no later than May 30th.
The initiative is part of President Biden’s broader campaign to build 500,000 charging stations by 2030, or about five times as many as there were in early 2022. The money, assigned as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is meant to ensure charging access within 50 miles of someone’s location in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. While the effort is intended to spur overall EV adoption, there’s an added focus on underserved communities like some urban and rural areas.
A strong charging infrastructure is widely considered vital to successfully transitioning away from combustion engine cars. Existing stations can sometimes be crowded or unreliable, and don’t always support the fast charging available with recent EVs. The government funding isn’t guaranteed to fix these problems, but should increase the likelihood that you can travel cross-country in an electrified ride.