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Biden administration launches proposed EV charger requirements

Mark Wagner, who converted his 1962 VW Beetle ragtop from gas to electric, gets it charged at a charging station at Irvine, California, April 19, 2022. The White House on Wednesday released proposed standards for federally-funded EV fast chargers.  (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times )
By Riley Beggin Detroit News

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Thursday released its proposed version of standards for federally funded electric vehicle fast chargers to be built along the nation’s highways.

The standards, when finalized, will guide the implementation of nearly $5 billion that will be sent to states to build up the charging network. Michigan is expected to get $110 million over the five-year program.

“Everyone should be able to find a working charging station when and where they need it without worrying about paying more or getting worse service because of where they live,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told reporters Wednesday evening.

The proposed standards, he said, are “to help states ensure that our nationwide EV charging network is accessible, is user-friendly and is interoperable.”

Chargers will be required to be spaced around 50 miles apart within 1 mile of interstate highways. Under the standards, charging companies would be required to provide real-time information on pricing and locations for use by third-party apps.

The DC fast-charging ports would need to provide at least 450 kilowatts of energy per station “so the station could serve multiple customers,” Buttigieg said.

All chargers would be required to be compatible with all types of electric vehicles and would not be allowed to require memberships to use.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the administration wants to ensure drivers can save money on gas by driving electric vehicles, and convenient charging is “key to that mission.”

She added that the Department of Energy is launching on Thursday an electric vehicle working group of EV leaders to make recommendations on the development and adoption of battery-electric vehicles, and the agency will soon announce up to $30 million for EV charging in underserved communities.

“If we’re going to build out infrastructure like we haven’t done since the Eisenhower era, we have to build it right,” Granholm said.

Congress must pass the expanded EV tax credit proposal from Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and additional tax credits for batteries, Granholm added. Stabenow and Kildee’s proposal would give consumers up to $12,500 off the price of a new electric vehicle, but it has struggled to gain the support of key centrists like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV.

The standards also include “strong workforce requirements” for installation, maintenance and operation to support jobs, according to a White House fact sheet.