Biden's $7.5 Billion Electric Vehicle Charging Initiative Hasn't Built a Single Charger Yet

Biden's $7.5 Billion Electric Vehicle Charging Initiative Hasn't Built a Single Charger Yet

President Biden’s trillion-dollar infrastructure package, the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), allocated $7.5 billion for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, aiming to build a massive nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network.

However, two years later, the program has faced challenges, with only $101.5 million distributed for seven state NEVI awards, and construction started on just two projects in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Fox News Digital reports.

The NEVI program, designed to fund 500,000 chargers and disburse $5 billion in five years, is lagging behind its goals. Critics argue that Americans have shown limited interest in EVs, even with substantial subsidies and incentives. Car dealers report waning enthusiasm, and manufacturers are reconsidering their EV strategies.

Daren Bakst, the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, called for Congress to defund the NEVI program, citing market realities and the lack of demand for EVs. Bakst highlighted the technological shortcomings of EVs, rural challenges, and federal requirements imposed by the Biden administration as factors contributing to the program’s slow progress.

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, established by the IIJA, defended the program, noting that all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., received historic funding for a national charging network. However, the slow pace of project initiation and the challenge of meeting ambitious goals were acknowledged.

Under the NEVI Program, funding is distributed to states, which then award funds to private developers constructing charging stations. The program aims to distribute $5 billion by 2026, build 500,000 chargers, and ensure a charger is available every 50 miles along major U.S. highways.

While some states have awarded funding and initiated projects, the overall progress is criticized for being slow. The Columbus project in Ohio, touted as a success story, broke ground in October but is not expected to be operational until early 2024.

Despite challenges, the Biden administration remains committed to expanding EV infrastructure, emphasizing progress in publicly available charging ports and EV sales growth since taking office. The administration aims to achieve the goal of a national network of 500,000 publicly accessible chargers by 2026.


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