U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday unveiled a White House plan to build 500,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the country, part of President Joe Biden’s goal of making the vehicles more accessible for both local and long-distance trips.
Harris made the announcement during a ceremony at an EV charging facility in suburban Maryland outside the U.S. capital, Washington.
“There can be no doubt: The future of transportation in our nation and around the world, is electric,” Harris said, adding that the nation's ability to manufacture, charge and repair electric vehicles will help determine the health of U.S. communities, the strength of the nation’s economy and the sustainability of the planet.
The EV Charging Plan takes $5 billion from the infrastructure law signed last month and allocates it to states to build a nationwide network of charging stations. The law also provides an additional $2.5 billion for local grants to support charging stations in rural areas and in disadvantaged communities.
In a statement, the White House also announced it will establish on Tuesday a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, leveraging the resources from each of the departments to implement the EV charging network and other electrification provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The White House says the goal of the plan is to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles for consumers and commercial fleets. They network as planned would reduce emissions and help meet the goal of net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.
Biden has established another ambitious goal of having electric vehicles account for 50% of all vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2030. Last year, industry experts said sales of fully electric vehicles accounted for about 2% of vehicles sold in the U.S.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.