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March 4, 2024

Biden Administration Unveils Sweeping $1.2 Billion Investment into EV Charging Networks and Next-Gen Batteries

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Jan 22, 2024

The Biden Administration has announced one of its most ambitious investments yet into electric vehicle infrastructure and technology, unveiling over $1.2 billion in new funding initiatives aimed at making EVs more affordable and practical for everyday Americans.

The centerpiece of the new EV affordability package is $700 million to build out charging networks nationwide, especially in rural areas and disadvantaged communities. Another $400 million has been earmarked to boost domestic battery production and R&D into next-generation EV battery chemistries. Tax incentives for at-home EV chargers have also been expanded.

$700 Million Approved for Rural and Disadvantaged Community EV Charging Networks

The largest chunk of the new EV investment package will go towards installing and upgrading EV charging stations across the country. A total of $700 million has been approved, with a focus on deploying chargers in rural areas and disadvantaged communities which have traditionally been underserved.

The money will be divided between all 50 states as well as tribal territories. Individual states will have flexibility in how they use the funds, but will be required to prioritize investments into rural charging deserts and low-income neighborhoods.

In a statement, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said:

“Building out the national electric vehicle charging network and expanding access to electric vehicles requires an all-of-country effort. The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is delivering this funding to states across the country to ultimately give Americans more options to charge up near home and across communities.”

Proponents say the investment will be crucial to spur mainstream EV adoption nationwide, not just in progressive coastal cities. Lack of public charging infrastructure in rural counties and poorer urban areas has been a major barrier to EV uptake in those demographics.

State-by-State Rural & Disadvantaged Community EV Charging Investments

State Federal Funding Amount
Alabama $15.6 million
Alaska $6.3 million
Arizona $76.7 million
Arkansas $9.9 million
California $384 million
Colorado $57 million
Connecticut $21 million
Delaware $21 million
Florida $198 million
Georgia $135 million
Hawaii $21 million
Idaho $18 million
Illinois $149 million
Indiana $79.6 million
Iowa $39.4 million
Kansas $30.5 million
Kentucky $40.4 million
Louisiana $30.5 million
Maine $21.3 million
Maryland $63 million
Massachusetts $63 million
Michigan $110 million
Minnesota $68.3 million
Mississippi $15.3 million
Missouri $53.2 million
Montana $18.2 million
Nebraska $23.1 million
Nevada $47.3 million
New Hampshire $21 million
New Jersey $104.4 million
New Mexico $23.1 million
New York $175.5 million
North Carolina $109.3 million
North Dakota $18.2 million
Ohio $140.2 million
Oklahoma $41.5 million
Oregon $57.1 million
Pennsylvania $171.6 million
Rhode Island $20.7 million
South Carolina $53.2 million
South Dakota $18.3 million
Tennessee $64.1 million
Texas $408.2 million
Utah $29.6 million
Vermont $18.3 million
Virginia $72.9 million
Washington $73.7 million
West Virginia $22.3 million
Wisconsin $79.9 million
Wyoming $18.2 million

(Source: Department of Transportation)

$400 Million Earmarked for Domestic Battery Supply Chain & Next-Gen R&D

Complementing the major charging infrastructure investments, the Biden Administration has directed another $400 million towards boosting domestic battery production and funding R&D into advanced EV battery chemistries.

The battery funding is split across two key buckets:

  • Strengthening the Battery Supply Chain ($300 million) – This funding will support projects across every part of the EV battery supply chain, including mining/processing of raw materials, cell component manufacturing, cell production, pack assembly, reuse/recycling of batteries, and second-life applications. The investments are meant to enhance America’s self-sufficiency and competitiveness in EV batteries while also creating good-paying clean energy jobs.

  • Next Generation Batteries ($100 million) – Cutting-edge R&D into future battery chemistries including lithium-metal, sodium-ion, zinc batteries, and solid state batteries will be supported with $100 million in new grants. These emerging technologies promise safer and more powerful batteries with 2-3x the energy density compared to today’s lithium-ion cells. Accelerating their commercial viability is seen as vital to unlocking 500+ mile range EVs.

Announcing the battery investments, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm commented:

“President Biden’s historic investments in battery supply chains, electric vehicles, and charging infrastructure are positioning America to win the global economy. Producing advanced batteries and components here at home will accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to meet the strong demand for electric vehicles.”

Industry analysts broadly welcomed the supply chain funding but stressed that public-private partnerships would be crucial to build out a complete domestic battery ecosystem and avoid over-dependency on China.

Expanded Tax Credits for Home EV Chargers Now Available

Rounding out the affordability measures, the Treasury Department has issued new guidance massively expanding access to valuable tax credits for EV owners who install qualified charging equipment at their residence.

The new guidance allows condo owners, homeowners without sufficient tax liability, and even renters who pay for EV charging installation to take advantage of a credit covering 30% of costs, up to $1,000.

Previously, the credits were capped at just $200 and excluded large groups of people based on home ownership status. Energy experts have indicated the changes will incentivize at-home charging infrastructure investments from a broader cross-section of Americans.

Commenting on the tax credit expansion, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said:

“I’m proud to be implementing this program to encourage the development of an accessible national network of electric vehicle chargers while also lowering costs for all American consumers and business investing in clean transportation.”

To find out if you are eligible and claim the EV charger tax credit, refer to the IRS guidance here.

Reactions: Supporters Hail “Down Payment” on Green Transition, Critics Argue Rural Access Overemphasized

Response from industry stakeholders, policymakers, and public interest groups to the Biden Administration’s new EV affordability actions has covered the gamut from highly enthusiastic to skeptical.

Supporters: Environmental advocates, EV charging network operators, and pro-electrification lawmakers welcomed the investments as a “fantastic down payment” on enabling mainstream EV uptake while tackling climate change.

In particular, the large sums dedicated to rural charging infrastructure and next-gen batteries drew praise. Awarding states flexibility in using the $700 million investment pool based on their local needs is also seen as a smart compromise.

Critics: Fiscal conservatives argued the administration is throwing excessive taxpayer money at immature, over-hyped technologies like EVs. Directing so much funding to rural communities was also questioned – critics said denser urban corridor fast-charging should be the near-term priority.

Regardless of the pushback, the Biden Administration considers the EV charging & battery investments as signature achievements of its electrification agenda. Further affordability measures and investments focused on medium/heavy duty vehicle fleets are reportedly already in the pipeline for 2024.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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