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Biden administration hopes to build network of 500K electric vehicle chargers

Electric Cars
Posted at 1:38 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 08:58:40-05

On Monday, the White House released a plan with the stated goal to get half of all U.S. cars to run on electric power by 2030.

The plan centers around adding more public charging areas.

The Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation has formed a task force to investigate how to build more charging stations in rural, disadvantaged and harder-to-reach locations.

The new infrastructure law that Biden signed last month includes more than $7 billion for states and grants to create a "national charging network."

Brian Moody, an executive editor at Autotrader, says more public charging spaces are needed, especially to boost public confidence in electric vehicles.

"The more charging stations there are, the more people will be willing to try an electric car, and I would say by this time next year there will be at least 10 all-new electric cars for sale," Moody said. "Those cars won't sell if people don't have a way to charge them up quickly and easily in a public area."

Autotrader found that 80% of electric car owners are charging from home. Moody says that means electric cars are currently only available to people who can afford a house or to install a charger.

The White House plan says it will address those who can not reliably charge at home. But just spreading out chargers anywhere isn't that simple.

"Where are the chargers going to be installed? Is it safe in that area? What is the plan for security?" Moody said. "As we've seen, I don't know if people want to be out at night when your car happens to run out of gas or electricity fuel, and you gotta go charge it up."

More public chargers will ease range anxiety. That's the concern electric car owners have about running out of juice while on the road. But Autotrader also found that people over-estimate how much they drive and typically don't need public charging.

The federal government plans to put out guidance early next year to states and cities for building electric car charging networks.