Is Biden’s EV PLAN Headed For A Stop Sign? – Officials Weigh In
(ConservativeHub.com) – The infrastructure bill passed by Congress in 2021 included new rule proposals related to the push of electric vehicles (EV) on the market. The new guidelines will require chargers on highways across the country, specifying the location, payment methods, and customer support. For some states in the western part of the country, the policies are concerning because leaders fear compliance isn’t even possible.
The Biden EV Plan
According to the Biden administration’s EV plan, there would be chargers every 50 miles on highways and within one mile of major highways. The administration hopes to boost consumer trust in EVs and remove “range anxiety,” or the fear of becoming stranded with a dead battery because there’s too much distance between charging stations.
The White House is rushing to get EVs on the roads and make Americans want to drive them. The first phase of funding will roll $615 million out to states to help them become compliant. Still, the administration’s rules mandate that states meet specific requirements to receive the funding, posing difficulties for some western states.
A Western Pushback
Western states cite the challenges posed by their unique landscapes, according to a recent Wall Street Journal Report. Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, and Wyoming officials have also expressed concerns about the requirements they must meet to get federal EV funding, calling some difficult and others potentially impossible.
Montana Department of Transportation Official Rob Stapley explained his state has long stretches where gas stations (or any vestige or civilization) are significantly further from each other than 50 miles. He also noted it might be impossible to hook charging ports up to the state’s electricity grid.
Then there’s a rest stop issue. States can’t use rest stops as charging stations due to a ban on commercial business in these locations passed by Congress to cut competition for gas stations. While the rule is a roadblock, rest stops aren’t ideal locations by their nature. These places exist because they’re far away from everything, and there’s nothing else around. Therefore, most don’t have the power grid access needed.
Special Projects Chief New Mexico Department of Transportation Joe De La Rosa explains there’s also an issue with the administration’s intended distribution of chargers. He notes it could be quite uneven, with some areas getting more chargers in some areas and none in others.
Utah officials worry about not spending enough on areas with the greatest need. The Biden plan pushes rural area chargers, but rural areas don’t have the demand. Executive Director of Utah Clean Air Partnership Kim Frost says the focus needs to be where it is most beneficial. She noted remote areas would have chargers that never get used, according to the WSJ.
Working Out the Plan
Due to these issues, states are considering asking for waivers for some of the requirements, but it is unclear whether the government would grant them. If they refuse, the result would be a massive waste of funding that could be beneficial for expanding charging networks outside the Biden plan’s restrictions.
According to the WSJ report, deputy administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, Stephanie Pollack, said the administration could issue limited waivers in response to problems like excessive costs. She also agreed rural states might receive waivers or exemptions for issues specific to those states.
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