President Biden said in his speech tonight that his administration will “build a national network 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations” on the nation’s roads, using money included in the bipartisan infrastructure law he signed in November.
Facts First: This needs context. For a few reasons, it’s questionable whether the Biden administration will be able to meet its goal of installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations on US roads.
The $7.5 billion allocated to charging stations in the bipartisan infrastructure law that Biden signed into law last year is just half of the $15 billion that Biden had originally proposed for the charging network. This change from the original proposal could significantly hinder the administration’s ability to meet the goal.
Second, there’s a wide range in how much different types of chargers cost, and individual states have a lot of leeway deciding what kinds of chargers will go on their roads. DC fast chargers can charge a car to mostly full in 20-30 minutes and are meant to go on major highways and roads. Another kind of charger known as an L2 charger can take hours to charge a car to full. DC fast chargers typically cost around $100,000 compared to around $6,000 for an L2, Ellen Hughes-Cromwick, a senior resident fellow at the think tank Third Way, has told CNN.
In a recent interview with climate publication Grist, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that ultimately the number of EV chargers on the roads “really depends on how the states decide to mix the fast chargers and different types of technology.”