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Electric Vehicles Get Boost from Federal Government


By Dan Hounsell Green
EV charging station

The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) is reshaping many elements of the nation’s transportation landscape, and institutional and commercial facilities are no exception. As Darrell X Rounds discussed in his recent column in Facilities Maintenance Decisions, a growing number of grounds managers and fleet managers are incorporating EVs into their departments’ operations, seeking to take advantage of the performance and sustainability benefits the vehicles offer. 

Now, these managers will have more support in their efforts from the federal government. 

The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Transportation Pete Buttigieg recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to support the deployment of $7.5 billion from the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out a national electric vehicle charging network. The law directs both agencies to collaborate on new programs and initiatives that will support the transition of the nation's transportation systems, which accounts for 29 percent of all U.S. carbon pollution, to electric vehicles and other zero-carbon technologies. 

The office will help to accelerate effective deployment of a convenient, reliable, affordable, and equitable national network of charging stations. It also will provide technical assistance to states and localities so they can build electric vehicle charging stations and other infrastructure. This assistance will include helping states develop plans for charging station networks to guide the implementation of the $7.5 billion program. 

Both agencies are tasked with implementing investments in zero-emission vehicle passenger, transit, and heavy-duty vehicles that create cleaner, more affordable transportation options. The early work of the office will center on EV charging provisions of the law, including:   

  • supporting the development of guidance and standards for the law’s EV charging programs 
  • providing technical assistance to state and localities to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and provide the data and tools needed to help develop state EV charging plans. 
  • providing technical expertise and assistance to other transportation electrification programs. 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor, facility group.

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