Biden’s Infrastructure Law Will Improve EV Charging in Texas

Electric cars
Electric cars | Image by baona

President Joe Biden’s new infrastructure law is set to greatly expand electric vehicle charging in Texas.

According to the Biden Administration, $5 billion in funding has been allotted for expanding EV charging stations across the entire country. There are currently about 100,000 charging stations in the U.S., WFAA reports, and the plan would see that number grow to 500,000 by the year 2030.

Tom Smith, the executive director of TxETRA, told WFAA the organization has been advocating for a larger charging network in Texas for a while.

“We’re at a point now where the charging infrastructure is at the mass adoption stage,” Smith said. “California and the Northeast have really ‘gotten after’ installing charging infrastructure around their states. And it’s now widely available and relatively inexpensive to install.”

The $5 billion in funding will be given out over the span of 5 years, and Texas will receive a total of $408 million. According to WFAA, Texas will receive more funding than any other state. The money will build infrastructure across the country that allows more private companies to put up charging stations along many major highways.

It will be similar to current EV developments in Europe, WFAA reported, where several big oil companies, such as BP and Shell, have established their own networks of charging stations.

“At that point, you’re in in the Katie-bar-the-door situation where you’ve gone far enough on the curve of adaptation to suddenly just have to get out of the way,” Smith said.

Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, told WFAA that the infrastructure funding will allow America to further develop EV technology, and keep up with other countries.

Buttigieg said, “The reason we’re taking this step is we have to accelerate the progress of that EV revolution, and we have to make sure that more of it is made in America.”

There are currently 424 plug-in charging stations in Dallas, 209 in Fort Worth, and 135 in Plano. It is unclear how many stations will be added in Texas with the new infrastructure funding, but it is projected to greatly expand the state’s current EV charging network.

Tarrant County Commissioner Gary Fickes spoke to WFAA about his concerns regarding electric vehicle drivers in relation to the state’s current gas tax.

“The real question is, for the states and the people who maintain these roads, electric vehicles currently don’t pay anything to drive on our roads,” Fickes said.

The gas tax, 20 cents per gallon, is paid by Texas drivers to help fund the maintenance and construction of roads. Fickes stated there should be some form of payment from EV drivers, and pointed to the possibility of adding a tax on electric vehicles.

He asked, “We’re going to put in all these charging stations, who’s going to maintain them? Who’s going to own them? It’s an 80%, 20% split on putting them in, where the feds are paying 80, the state’s paying 20. But who maintains them? Where are those dollars coming from?”

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