Building EV charging is one of the most effective ways to encourage more EV buyers. Luckily, we’re about to see the single biggest investment in EV charging ever with the funds from the VW settlement. The settlement will result in thousands of new EV charging stations across the country. While the final VW nationwide investment plan isn’t yet public, you can see the first 30 month investment plan for California here. And, you can continue to submit comments and proposals at the Electrify America website.
But even with the VW investment into charging infrastructure, we will still fall short on the number of charging stations needed to have them as ubiquitous as gas stations. Will those dollars reach remote communities in the southwest, the Rockies, and the Great Plains? Probably not. Will private charging station companies have business strategies that reach these communities in the next three to five years? Probably not. They will likely focus where the markets are biggest and easiest, like major cities and highways. The best solution to this challenge is for utilities to become involved in EV charging infrastructure in a major way.
The EV charging infrastructure pie is big, and there’s a slice available for everyone. Plug In America believes that utilities should be allowed to invest in and install EV charging, especially DC fast charging. You can read about our EV Charging Infrastructure Principles here. But some utilities are actually prohibited from building EV charging. Over the coming months, we’re working to change that.
This past legislative session, there was a bill to allow some publicly-owned utilities in Washington state to build EV charging. In Colorado, there is an active bill right now, HB 17-1232, sponsored by Representative Danielson and Senator Priola, that would allow Colorado utilities to build EV charging. If you’re a Coloradan, you can take action here to contact your state Senator to support HB 17-1232.
We’ll continue to monitor legislation and engage where we can to give electric utilities the ability to build EV charging. Stay tuned for more, especially for some big events we have coming up this summer on this issue.
Image credit: Designed by FreePik for FlatIcon.