Update: Right as the White House is trying to improve EV charging infrastructure, some lawmakers have been trying to make it worse by banning free EV charging
The Biden administration has made no secret of the fact it wants to make huge improvements to the U.S.’s EV charging infrastructure. $5 billion has been set aside to develop a network of chargers along “alternative fuel corridors”, but anyone hoping to claim some of that money may have to abide by newly-proposed standards.
The proposed standards are designed to make EV charging “convenient, reliable and affordable for all Americans”. That way everyone can use the chargers, no matter what car they drive. The aim is to have at least 500,000 new chargers in place by 2030, and that they’re usable 97% of the time.
The standards outlined will require EV chargers to be built every 50 miles along major highways, and no more than one mile away from the aforementioned alternative fuel corridors. These locations will also have to be able to charge at least four EVs at once, at speeds exceeding 150 kW.
The rules also forbid mandatory memberships, which are typically linked to app-based payment systems, and a serious pain in the butt. Federal funding also won’t be available to stations that do not use the CCS plug.
Those last two points are something of a blow to Tesla, which is notable for using its own proprietary charging system at Superchargers in North America.
Elon Musk has confirmed that CCS plugs will be rolled out to Superchargers across the United States, in anticipation of opening the Supercharger network to non-Tesla vehicles. However, European trials require drivers to confirm and pay for their charging sessions in the Tesla app — which would seemingly fall foul of the new U.S. standards.
But that’s not all the White House has planned. The Biden administration claims that it's working on plans to incentivize residential EV charging, and for people living in apartments and other multi-unit homes.
On top of that, the President is said to be pushing Congress to improve new tax credits. That way more people can afford to make the switch to an electric car, and avoid the pain of ever-rising gasoline prices.
While there’s still a great deal of work to be done, including building the new chargers, this is a big step. Not only does it help improve charging infrastructure in the United States, the standards are aiming to tackle some of existing chargers’ biggest problems.
Nobody wants to deal with a dozen or so apps to recharge, nor do you want to turn up at a charging point to find it’s broken. I’ve experienced both problems, and it sure as heck isn’t a very fun experience.