June 25, 2024
Electric & Hybrid Cars

Inadequate: Federal Program Has Only Deployed 7 EV Charging Sites Out of $5B Funding

Shailen Bhatt, chief of the Federal Highway Administration, testifies before the Senate on Wednesday. (AP)


WASHINGTON — Only seven electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations have been operationalized with funding from a $5-billion U.S. government initiative established in 2021, which one Democratic senator described as “disappointing” progress on Wednesday.

Car manufacturers and others emphasize the urgent need to substantially increase the number of EV-charging stations to support the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, a key component of the Biden Administration’s initiatives to combat greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Shailen Bhatt, the head of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the seven EV-charging stations implemented under the 2021 U.S. program only offer a limited number of charging ports. Senator Jeff Merkley expressed strong criticism, calling the progress “disappointing” and a “significant administrative failure.”

Bhatt acknowledged the slow pace of deployment and mentioned that the agency is collaborating with states to facilitate the installation of EV chargers. “There are several challenges,” Bhatt remarked, pointing out that states are managing multiple initiatives concurrently.

Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee, Tom Carper, indicated a potential hearing on the sluggish deployment of EV-charging infrastructure. “We need to ensure that the federal funding is utilized effectively for the intended purposes,” Carper stated.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm revealed that 27 states have initiated commercial requests for constructing charging stations, with an estimated 1,000 public EV-charging stations expected to be operational by the end of the year through the federal program.

As of December, the U.S. had approximately 183,000 public charging ports, and under the Biden administration, the number of fast-charging ports available to the public has increased by 90%. Bhatt expressed confidence in reaching the target of 500,000 charging ports nationwide.


Q: How many EV charging stations have been established under the 2021 U.S. program?

A: Only seven EV charging stations have been operationalized so far.


While progress in expanding EV-charging infrastructure in the U.S. has been slow, efforts are underway to accelerate deployment and meet the ambitious target of 500,000 charging ports nationwide. Collaboration between federal agencies and state governments is key to achieving this goal and supporting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

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