More than $2 billion has been distributed, but only two states have even broken ground and most states haven’t even submitted proposals.
President Joe Biden has made a transition to electric vehicles (E.V.s) a key part of his presidency, spending billions of dollars both to help companies build them and to help customers afford them.
The 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included $7.5 billion to build 500,000 public charging stations across the country. Under the program, states can qualify for as much as 80 percent of the cost to build chargers and bring them online. But as Politico reported this week, not a single charger funded by the program is yet operational.
It’s the latest setback as Biden attempts to change consumer preference by force rather than allowing the free market to innovate its way there.
Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that by 2030, half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. must be electric. This will require an enormous ramp-up in resources, especially around charging infrastructure. As Politico notes, “consumer demand for electric vehicles is rising in the United States, necessitating six times as many chargers on its roads by the end of the decade, according to federal estimates.”
Other estimates are even more dire: In January, Stephanie Brinley at S&P Global Mobility wrote that “even when home-charging is taken into account, to properly match forecasted sales demand, the United States will need to see the number of EV chargers quadruple between 2022 and 2025, and grow more than eight-fold by 2030.” As of this writing, there are just under 158,000 public chargers, meaning there may need to be more than 1 million to support the Biden administration’s timeline.