In Speech to Congress, Biden Calls for the Deployment of 500,000 EV Charging Stations

By Kurt Stolz on 29 April 2021
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A 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 EV at a charging station

While Not ‘A Chicken in Every Pot,” The Program Will Propel U.S. Towards an EV in Every Garage

In his first address to Congress, President Joseph Biden proposed spending $15 billion to fund the creation of a national network of electric-vehicle charging stations as part of the administration’s American Jobs First plan and said that the United States should lead the world in producing electric vehicles.

“There’s no reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries…  We have this capacity, [and] we have the brightest, best-trained people in the world,” he said in his speech.

The plan calls for the deployment of chargers in a variety of spaces including apartment buildings, public parking lots, and spread throughout communities, as well as for fast charging stations along the nation’s highways, with a target date of 2030 to reach 500,000.

The project would be accomplished via a mixture of grants and incentive programs for both the private sector and state and local governments that will employ tens of thousands of individuals.

“The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy-efficient buildings and homes.  Electrical workers … installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways so we can own…  the electric car market.”

Currently, there are some 42,000 charging stations representing 102,000 public charging outlets spread throughout the country today according to Department of Energy figures, although one-third of the stations are located in California.

The Tesla charging network is perhaps the best known but its chargers in the United States have a proprietary connector that won’t work with non-Tesla vehicles.  Other chargers use a universal plug approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers for which there are adapters available for Tesla-brand automobiles.

In Europe, a standard connector is mandatory, which puts all EV makers on an equal footing but there’s currently no standard connector that is mandated for use in the United States.

Today, almost all EV owners have chargers available to them either in private homes, apartment complexes, or at their workplaces, because, given the lack of public infrastructure for charging, few people would buy an EV without having a place to plug it in.

While the president’s plan will take years to roll out and require coordination between multiple groups including automakers, car dealerships, today’s filling stations, apartment house managers, and condo and coop boards, it will make the country less reliant on fossil fuels, reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improve public health, and reduce ecological damage to the planet.

Finally, this is not akin to the promise President Herbert Hoover had allegedly made in the Campaign of 1928, namely that of “a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage,” which was made up by the his opponents in the election in an attempt to discredit him.  Electric vehicles are not a fad and the sooner the country has a proper EV charging infrastructure in place, the sooner everyone will reap the benefits.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)