Blog Are Electric Vehicle Charging Grants the Next Energy Boondoggle?

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Are Electric Vehicle Charging Grants the Next Energy Boondoggle?

Expansive definitions of infrastructure have become a running gag on the internet, but credulity-straining inclusions in the $1 trillion bill like an Amtrak vaping ban shouldn’t blind us to the imprudence of federal spending on some of the things that fit the definition of infrastructure well.

One such example is the proposed $7.5 billion program for a national electric vehicle charging network. This proposal headlines the infrastructure bill’s climate change subtitle, promising to establish funding to “deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure . . . along designated alternative fuel corridors and in certain locations that will be accessible to all drivers of electric vehicles.”

A dearth of charging stations is an undeniable problem for electric vehicle (EV) adoption. Because EV batteries store less energy than dense liquid fuels, EVs require charges more frequently than comparable vehicles require fill-ups. Unfortunately for EV drivers, charges also take at least half an hour (and sometimes nearly a full day) to reach full range capacity. Private investment has been slow in this arena, leaving EV drivers with chronic range anxiety and prospective EV buyers turning to other options.

For EV advocates, the solution to these problems is obvious: federally fund more charging stations.


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