National EV charging network: 5 things you need to know
Near the end of March 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a $2 trillion infrastructure plan that will help boost the US economy and job market. President Biden spared no cost, opting to reinvest federal funds in infrastructure and construction. As part of the plan, Biden is pushing to invest $174 billion in building an American Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Network, spanning across most states.
The development and adoption of EVs and a national charging network is part of Biden’s progressive plan to have America be carbon-neutral by 2030. Planning to add 500,000 charging points to the existing 41,400. So what can we expect from a national charging network? Well, it’s not clear yet what sort of incentives there might be for individuals and businesses, but we’ve got the top 5 things you need to know right now.
It’s all about numbers
With this plan, there’s a lot of numbers involved, and we mean it. Biden is pushing for $174 billion in federal investment. Urging existing charging companies such as EVgo and ChargePoint to retool factories and maximize domestic labor. Currently, there are only 41,400 charge points located across the U.S., with an estimated 500,000 in the works according to the Biden Administration. The American consulting firm, AlixPartners estimates nearly $300 billion is needed for a global network, with $50 billion estimated for the U.S. alone.
According to The White House, the new charging points will include 134 Interstates, 125 US Highways, and State roads, spanning 166,000 miles of the National Highway System. Cumulatively the Federal Highway Association has already designated 59,000 miles of the NHS system to new EV points, with South Dakota and Mississippi – being the only two states that were excluded.
Currently, there’s a $7,500 tax credit for EV drivers. Although this excludes Tesla drivers, given the massive monetary boost the EV industry will receive over the next few years – improved tax incentives might soon be on the horizon. These may include tax credits or withholdings for both personal and business-related purchases.
The federal government has already devised a plan to ensure EV drivers can receive tax credits on certain areas, whether it be their car, home charging points, electricity, personal income, or perhaps property tax. The same might now be done for businesses and private institutions looking to support charging points on their premises. Although most of these points will remain privatizes by companies such as EVgo and ChargePoint.
FAST on the nationwide charging network
The FAST Act, created in 2015 acknowledges the use of federal highways and local roads for vehicles that travel on alternative fuels. The new Biden plan will help nominate the current FAST figures to 25 additional states, 51 interstates, and 50 U.S. highways and local state roads. More infrastructure is now in the pipeline, ready to connect American EV drivers with faster, alternative routes containing charging points.
Faster mobile apps
For Tesla drivers, locating a Tesla charging station is easy. It’s not always the same for other EV model drivers. Mobile apps such as Greenlots, Chargemap, PlugShare, NextCharge, and ChargePoint already exist to help locate the nearest charging station. But with more stations coming onto the grid, apps will need to be better, faster, and more reliable. Mobile apps will need to have sufficient enough data, to provide drivers with the most up-to-date information, and nearest charge points. Who knows? Perhaps someone will start an LLC to create a collaboration with Google.
More contenders, more choices, better prices
With Tesla in the lead, other car manufacturers such as Nissan, Porsche, GM, Volkswagen are all now joining the party. As the federal government pushes for a national network, leading car manufacturers will have it easy to put more of their cars on the road. With more players, and contenders in the ring, drivers may see a decline in EV prices, as more options are available on the market. This isn’t always a given, with roughly 1.8 percent of registered vehicles accounting for EVs according to the Department of Energy.
We’re all waiting to see when the national network will take-off, until then, we’ll be visiting one of the 40,000 chargers we currently have available.