The Biden administration wants to see at least 500,000 electric vehicle chargers on American roads by 2030, and announced a series of initiatives on Wednesday to help make that a reality, including commitments from companies that build and operate charging networks like You’re here, GM, Ford, Charging point and others.
All companies are expected to reap the benefits of federal funding if their planned charging infrastructure projects meet the new federal standards, which were also revealed on Wednesday.
As part of the effort, White House officials said they had locked in Tesla’s commitment to open thousands of its chargers to electric vehicles made by other manufacturers. Until now in the United States, Tesla Supercharge stations have been primarily accessible to drivers of the company’s own cars.
Tesla has specifically agreed to make at least 7,500 of its publicly available chargers in the United States available to any compatible electric vehicle by the end of 2024. This total will include at least 3,500 of Tesla’s 250 kilowatt Superchargers located along major road corridors. like the slower Tier 2 destination chargers the automaker provides in places like hotels and restaurants, officials said.
Tesla has also agreed to triple the number of superchargers in its US network, with new chargers to be manufactured in Buffalo, NY, the official said. The company assembled some of its charging equipment at a facility in Buffalo that was originally designed as a solar panel factory.
Tesla has intended to open up its charging network in the United States for years. According to Tesla’s latest annual financial report, in November 2021 the company “began offering Supercharger access to non-Tesla vehicles in select locations to support our mission to accelerate the global transition to sustainable energy.”
White House infrastructure chief Mitch Landrieu told reporters on Tuesday that Elon Musk was one of several auto industry CEOs involved in talks with the White House over charging infrastructure last year.
“He was very open, he was very constructive,” Landrieu said. “And at that point he said his intention was to work with us to make his network interoperable. Everyone else on the call agreed.”
Landrieu added: “It was extremely important to us that everyone was included in the conversation.”
The White House also praised other automakers and businesses, praising a separate agreement between General Motors, Pilot Co. and the EVGo charging network to install 2,000 fast chargers at Pilot and Flying J centers along US highways.
GM, through a separate partnership with FLO, also plans to install up to 40,000 Level 2 public chargers in U.S. communities by 2026, which will be part of GM’s Ultium Charge 360 network and available to everyone. drivers of electric vehicles.
Ford has pledged to install DC Fast chargers in 1,920 company dealerships by January 2024.
Hertz and oil giant BP’s electric vehicle charging unit plan to install thousands of chargers in major US cities for use by Hertz customers and the general public.
Among Wednesday’s announcements, the Departments of Energy and Transportation also revealed new charging standards that “ensure anyone can use the grid, no matter what car you’re driving or what state you’re in.” recharge”. Among the requirements:
- All new chargers built with federal funds must support the Combination Charging System plug standard. The CCS standard is used by most automakers other than Tesla.
- New charging sites built with federal funds will be required to have a minimum number of DC Fast chargers.
- Federally funded chargers must be operational at least 97% of the time once installed.
- Effective immediately, all federally funded magazines must be assembled in the United States and their steel cases must be manufactured in the United States. By July 2024, at least 55% of charger components (measured by cost) must also be manufactured in the United States. .
- New chargers built with federal funds to be compatible with new user-friendly technologies such as “Plug and Charge”, which – as the name suggests – automates the process of paying for charging.
There are also new rules to help ensure drivers don’t have to use multiple apps to find and use chargers, by making data about charger locations, prices and availability public and available through apps. cartography.
But in an oversight that will raise questions from staunch environmentalists, new federally funded EV chargers won’t necessarily be powered by clean energy sources.
Officials said it would be up to “the company” whether federally funded EV chargers would be powered by renewables or “clean electricity,” or just plugged into the existing power grid.
Transportation is responsible for 25% of carbon emissions from human activity worldwide, according to estimates by the nonprofit International Council on Clean Transportation. Much of this pollution comes from tailpipe emissions, but charging with electricity from clean or renewable sources increases the climate benefits of switching to an electric vehicle.
According to an environmental impact study conducted by Project Drawdown, compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, emissions are reduced by 50% when an electric vehicle’s power is drawn from the conventional grid. When powered by solar energy, an electric vehicle’s carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 95% compared to a comparable internal combustion engine vehicle that burns gasoline.
However, officials suggested it would all work out in the long run. During the briefing, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stressed that the president’s goal was to achieve a “completely clean power grid” by 2035.
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