Plus, more for electric school buses and the power grid.
President Joe Biden signed a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, on November 15, 2021. The bill includes funding for several components of the nation’s infrastructure including the electrical grid, electric school buses, and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
The latter is notably historic as it is the first time the U.S. government has invested into a national charging station network, which will further increase the adoption of EVs.
Within the infrastructure bill is $7.5B specifically allocated for a national EV charging station network. These charging stations will be located along highway routes or rural areas, include brand-agnostic connectors such as the J-1772, be publicly accessible, and have no network membership fees.
Additionally included in the bill are funds for electric school buses and (very importantly) the electrical grid. Many critics of EVs fear the grid cannot handle a large increase in electrical load. While this can be true in a lot of areas around the country, a $65B investment into the grid will definitely help correct those concerns.
Per the White House, “The bill invests $7.5 billion to build out the first-ever national network of EV chargers in the United States and is a critical element in the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan to accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis and support domestic manufacturing jobs. The bill will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. Federal funding will have a particular focus on rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach communities.” This major investment in transportation electrification will benefit all Americans.
As estimated by CleanTechnica, $7.5B in EV charging stations could result in around 1,900 highway and rural stations, 100,000 urban stations, and 215,000 Level 2 stations for workplaces, apartments, and airports.
At the time of the election, Biden pledged to install 500,000 EV charging stations across the country. Unfortunately, the final infrastructure bill is much less than originally planned. While the final Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represents much less than originally promised, it will still go far in electrifying the national highway system.
Per the Alternative Fuels Data Center, there are currently over 45,000 public EV charging station locations with 111,000 connectors.
These numbers do not include any Tesla charging stations as they are currently exclusive to Tesla vehicles. However, Elon Musk has stated that Tesla will open access to the Tesla charging network to all vehicles in the near future. Should that happen, there would be approximately 52,000 stations with 127,000 connectors.
Furthermore, these figures do not include any private charging stations nor any home chargers. For many EV drivers, charging at home is the cheapest and easiest option. The workplace is the second most popular place to charge and employers often choose to keep their stations private.
What is Not Included in the Infrastructure Bill?
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act does not include a renewal or revision to the Qualified Plug-In Electric Vehicle Tax Credit. These tax credits were established in 2008 and provide a maximum of $7,500 in tax credits to electric car buyers. After an automaker sells over 200,000 EVs, the tax credits begin to sunset before decreasing to zero.
At the moment, both Tesla and General Motors have surpassed this threshold, so drivers who buy vehicles from these brands can no longer claim the tax credit.
A revised form of the EV tax credit exists in a separate piece of legislation, known as the Build Back Better bill. The revised version will eliminate the 200,000 threshold thereby providing tax credits once again to both Tesla and GM vehicles. Additionally, the tax credits increase to a maximum of $12,500 for vehicles made by American union workers.
The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Tax Credit, which expires on December 31, 2021, may also be extended or expanded. The credit currently gives businesses 30% for the cost of their project, up to $30,000 per location. As of November 2021, Congress is still debating the Build Back Better bill.
EV charging is the biggest new development for commercial real estate, and thanks to the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, it’s coming to communities across the United States. Ready to learn about charging at your property? Click here to get started.
Darya Oreizi is the founder at Charged Future: the EV charging consultancy. Charged Future helps businesses implement and achieve EV charging goals. Oreizi works with businesses as an EV charging project manager looking to save both time and money for his clients. This includes searching and applying to all eligible rebate applications, which can typically cover a large portion of the project cost.