The news today is filled with discussions about electric vehicles, thanks to the increasing price of gas worldwide. Electric vehicle (EV) programs, from individual users to full commercial fleets, have the potential to create a significant change in our carbon emissions and are critical to our progress on climate change. Both the federal government and the state of California have published aggressive climate action plans that will not be accomplished unless drivers move from gas to electric vehicles.

California in the Driver’s Seat

California is creating a model for what the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) market can look like, and many other states have voiced that they intend to watch California closely and follow that model.

Driven by aggressive climate change goals, California leads the nation in ZEV metrics, including the highest level of public funding (with support for low-income EV consumers), the largest EV market share percentage, and the most extensive public charging infrastructure.

As of the third quarter of 2021, California alone has sold more than 1 million electric vehicles, a sum that exceeds the total sales of the next 10 states combined and is seven times higher than the second-place finisher. Looking forward, 7.5 million plug-in EVs are forecast to be on the road in California by 2030, and a gubernatorial executive order calls for all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state to be ZEVs by 2035.

In addition to $384 million in EV formula funds over the next five years from the federal government, California’s draft fiscal year 2023 state budget proposes $6.1 billion for EV infrastructure, which is significantly higher than prior years. California EV programs will have the opportunity to compete for the additional $2.5 billion in federal competitive grants for this market.

Electric Vehicle Charging Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Infographic

New Nationwide Focus

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help establish a network of 500,000 publicly accessible charging stations nationwide by 2030. The law includes $5 billion in formula funding for states to build a national charging network. It also provides $2.5 billion for communities and corridors through a competitive grant program that will support innovative approaches to charger deployment.  Recognizing that electric vehicle range anxiety is real, our highway system will need fast, reliable charging infrastructure at regular intervals; the Biden administration has proposed spacing at no more than 50 miles to be eligible for federal funding.

As the number of charging stations across the U.S. increases, there will be a growing need for more expertise and creativity in planning and constructing everything from individual chargers to data-center-style fleet charging systems." Rachel Vandenberg and Dave Revette

The new electric vehicle revolution will affect not only individuals who are looking to reduce pollutants in the environment as well as the cost of a driving a vehicle, but also federal, state, and local government fleets, ports, shipping entities, transit agencies, and more.

The development of EV infrastructure and charging stations will create a new lifestyle for drivers and a new way of thinking about how and where to “fuel” their vehicles. A diverse network of Level 2 and Level 3 chargers, paired with development in at-home and destination charging infrastructure, is needed to support widespread EV adoption.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station