All gas stations are essentially the same: the nozzle fits all vehicles, the pump accepts common credit cards, and the price is posted on a large billboard. The Biden administration wants to make electric vehicle charging stations much more like that.
His proposed new rule would require the half million electric vehicle chargers he plans to fund to be interoperable, similar to the way a gas pump works with any vehicle. Charging stations funded by the federal program would also be open to anyone, banning any membership requirements, and establishing a common standard for payment and other technologies. Charging stations would be built along America’s highways.
The proposal, which came from the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy on Thursday, comes as consumers at the pump continue to pay record gasoline prices. As GLM previously reported, the average US price for a gallon of regular gas came in at $4.96 according to AAA’s most recent reading on Wednesday. It was the 12th day in a row and the 29th time in the last 30 that gas has set a record in the United States.
Although President Joe Biden recently acknowledged there was nothing he could do to lower gas prices anytime soon, his push for electric vehicles is part of his plan to address the climate crisis. In August of last year, the president announced a goal that half of the vehicles sold in the country by 2030 be battery electric, fuel cell electric or plug-in hybrids.
The new initiative is part of the administration’s effort to ensure access to electric charging for all Americans and address key concerns that prevent drivers from purchasing electric vehicles. Key among them is range anxiety, the driver’s fear of not having enough charge to get to the next docking station.
The Biden administration is also focusing on other concerns by requiring standardized pricing and payment systems, and pouring billions into other efforts, such as fast-charging battery technology.
If finalized as written, the rule would apply to chargers funded by the federal infrastructure law signed last November. It includes about $5 billion that will go to states to build charging networks, including funding that targets chargers along interstate highways and other major routes.
“To support the transition to electric vehicles, we must build a national charging network that makes finding a charge as easy as filling up a gas station,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
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