California Construction News staff writer
California has the green light to start using federal infrastructure funding to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the state’s interstates and highways following the recent federal approval of a joint plan by Caltrans and California Energy Commission.
The first phase of the California Deployment Plan for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program includes $56 million to install charging stations and long-term funding will top $384 million for the program over the next five years. Federal funding will be added to California’s $10 billion, multiyear plan to transition to expand charging infrastructure.
“With this unprecedented federal investment, California can advance our vision of a unified network of charging stations along the state’s busiest corridors,” said Patty Monahan, California energy commission commissioner. “This new network will increase charging access, particularly in the rural areas of our state, and help EV drivers charge up on long trips.”
The state’s NEVI plan focuses on construction of fast-charging stations near interstates, U.S. routes and state routes throughout California.
Stations will increase availability of charging options, improve the reliability of the charging network and remove barriers to accessing EVs. Funding will also support upgrades to existing infrastructure, charging stations’ operation and maintenance costs, community and stakeholder engagement, workforce development, and related mapping and signage.
California leads the country with the highest level of public funding, the largest EV market share percentage and most extensive public charging infrastructure.