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Electric Vehicle Chargers
ONC Editorial

Jan 26, 2023

This article discusses what Electric Vehicle Infrastructure looks like across America. (The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the individual author, whose information can be found below.)

An average American drives 14,263 miles each year for commuting and road trips, and electric vehicles (EVs) rely on charging stations for these long-distance travels. Each station usually has several “ports” and can accommodate multiple EVs. According to an article by EVAdoption, by September 2021, there were nearly 110,000 public ports at approximately 48,000 charging stations across the United States, with an EV-to-port ratio of 14:2. However, there are three levels of ports, with charging speeds ranging from 3 miles per hour to 20 miles per minute. Only level 3 ports (including Tesla Superchargers) are realistically useful to long-haul EV drivers, but there are only 20,000 nationwide, distributed among fewer than 8,000 stations. As was stated by Professor Jeremy Michalek at Carnegie Mellon (2022), this existing infrastructure won’t be able to support a full transition from gasoline-fueled cars to EVs, and “the U.S. needs to prioritize bulking up the number of chargers…along well traveled highways.”

This initiative is reflected in the federal designation of Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs), highway sections along which a level 3 charging station is planned for every 50 miles. By August 2022, 85 percent of interstates have received such designation, but many remain “pending” with unfinished or unbuilt stations. For now, only two continuous major AFCs exist in the U.S., one between Boston and Atlanta and the other from Seattle to San Diego. Moreover, even built-up charging stations might be useless due to a lack of regular maintenance: 23 percent  of the Bay Area’s 657 stations were found broken,  according to a 2022 survey conducted by the nonprofit organization, Cool the Earth, and retired bioengineering professor at UC Berkeley, David Rompel, as reported on by Niraj Chokshi for The New York Times. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program in response to these shortcomings: Between FY 2022 and 2026, an annual $1 billion will be appropriated under NEVI to the states for building a more comprehensive EV charging infrastructure.

To see all sources consulted/reviewed/interviewed for the purposes of writing this article and/or to learn more about this article's author, click HERE.

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