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US to Build Highway Electric Vehicle Charging Network

FILE - Bob Palrud of Spokane, Wash. speaks with a fellow electric vehicle owner who is charging up at a station along Interstate 90, on Wednesday Sept. 14, 2022, in Billings, Montana. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
U.S. Approves Plans to Build Highway Electric Vehicle Charging Network
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The U.S. Department of Transportation recently approved plans for all 50 American states to build charging stations for electric vehicles, or EVs, along the nation’s highways.

The network of charging stations is part of the government’s efforts to help more Americans move to zero-emission vehicles.

The approval means that $5 billion in federal money will be available over five years to build the stations. They will be placed about every 80 kilometers along the highways. The goal is to have about 500,000 charging stations across the nation. And construction of the stations could begin by spring of 2023.

Under the Department of Transportation rules, states must first build fast-charging stations that could cost between $40,000 to $100,000. A vehicle can fully charge at these stations in about one hour.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, “America led the original automotive revolution in the last century,” and he said the plan will help make sure people in every part of the country will be able to use electric vehicles.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks at the North American International Auto Show, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks at the North American International Auto Show, Sept. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

President Biden has set a goal that 50 percent of new U.S. car sales be electric by 2030. The charging network is a big step to help Americans worry less about finding a place to charge their electric vehicles. But it could be difficult for some states to deal with limited electricity grid capacity and shortages of materials to build the stations.

States like Texas, California and Florida say their electricity grid should be able to handle an increase of a million or more EVs.

Other states like New Jersey, Vermont and Mississippi are not so sure. They also expressed concerns about whether they could set up charging stations that meet the American-made rules.

“It may delay implementation by several years,” New Jersey officials wrote.

Currently, many EV owners charge their vehicles at home, about 80 percent of the time, usually at single-family houses. But that is likely to change with the new charging network. The new law also gives an extra $2.5 billion to rural areas and poorer communities to help build charging stations in those places.

I’m Andrew Smith.

Hope Yen wrote this story for the Associated Press. Andrew Smith adapted it for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

emission –n. that which is produced or sent out (such as energy or gas) from a source

construction –n. the act of building something, such as a house, road, bridge, and the like

revolution –n. an important change in an area of human activity

grid –n. a network, usually to distribute electricity over an area

capacity –n. the amount of what can be produced or delivered

implementation –n. the act of using or completing a method or project


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