The U.S. Department of Energy announced it will invest about $5 billion into a nationwide electric vehicle charging network, in hopes of making electric vehicle charging “accessible to all Americans” to encourage more people to trade gas-guzzling cars for electric.
The initiative will help states build up to half a million electric vehicle charging stations, which is five times the number of stations the U.S. currently has, Yahoo News reported. Once complete, the boom in charging stations will ensure that there are stations every 50 miles along interstate highways, according to the Associated Press.
There were about 1.5 million registered electric vehicles in the U.S. as of 2020. An extended charging network could help EV expansion across the country, as more charging opportunities make it easier to drive longer distances.
“We are modernizing America’s national highway system for drivers in cities large and small, towns and rural communities, to take advantage of the benefits of driving electric,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a press release. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping states to make electric vehicle charging more accessible by building the necessary infrastructure for drivers across America to save money and go the distance, from coast-to-coast.”
The network of EV charging stations will be found along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors located along interstate highways. More than $600 million of the $5 billion will be distributed to states this year. This news comes a month after the DOE announced a newly formed Clean Energy Corps of experts who will work toward making a zero-carbon future a reality.
Electrifying transportation is going to be a major component of lowering the country’s carbon emissions, but the announcement does not include investments in public transit for communities that do not have steady access to cars or who cannot afford to buy and maintain a car. Not to mention people with conditions that make it unsafe for them to drive cars for long distances. Here’s to waiting on an electrified Amtrak system and more electric buses for accessible travel.