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Administration to announce EV charging station standards

National network to include 55 percent American-made materials

A ChargePoint station in New Carrollton, Md., is seen during an event on Sept. 20, 2021, to promote electric vehicles.
A ChargePoint station in New Carrollton, Md., is seen during an event on Sept. 20, 2021, to promote electric vehicles. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Electric vehicle charging stations built with federal money will have to have consistent plug types, power levels and a minimum of chargers under standards the Biden administration plans to announce Wednesday.

The standards also require that data about the location of EV stations to be publicly available and that EV-charging equipment must contain 55 percent American-made materials, according to a White House summary of the standards. 

“The president’s goal is to create a convenient, reliable and made-in-America electric vehicle charging network across the country,” Mitch Landrieu, infrastructure coordinator at the White House, told reporters Tuesday. “We want to build a national network of 500,000 electrical vehicle charges along America’s highways and in our communities.”

The unveiling of standards is part of a series of recent announcements from administration officials touting federal efforts to expand EV charging nationwide and spur domestic jobs.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to visit an electric battery plant in Georgia on Wednesday.

“We want to make sure that you will be able to plug in, know the price that you’re going to be paying and charge up with a predictable and user-friendly experience,” Buttigieg told reporters Tuesday. “Just as when you are filling up with gas today, you know that the experience will be broadly consistent, regardless of your location and regardless of the vendor.”

President Joe Biden is scheduled to speak Wednesday afternoon at an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers hall in Prince George’s County, Md., about his economic agenda more broadly, efforts to promote domestic manufacturing jobs, according to a White House official.

Last week in Nevada, Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm touted a $2 billion loan deal with Redwood Materials, which said it uses new and recycled materials to make batteries. 

Private companies, including Tesla, Hertz, General Motors, ChargePoint, Mercedes-Benz and others, are expected Wednesday to announce more than 100,000 charging stations will be available to the public, Landrieu said.

In a first, Tesla will open a portion of its charging network to non-Tesla electric vehicles, making at least 7,500 available by the end of 2024, according to the White House. The company has historically restricted its network to Tesla drivers.

Domestic manufacturing requirements for public works were included in the infrastructure law from the last Congress, though the Transportation Department has stalled in its enforcement of that provision and those requirements can be waived.

Republicans in Congress and state houses have bristled at the transition to EVs and charging stations, raising objections to links between the Chinese government and Chinese firms, which often partner with U.S. automakers to operate battery plants.

After Ford said Tuesday it would build a $3.5 billion battery factory in Michigan and use technology from CATL, a Chinese company and the world’s largest battery company, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., requested a federal board, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, review the deal.

“As you are also aware, even nominally private Chinese companies enjoy rich state support from Beijing, as well as important controls on their ownership,” Rubio wrote in a letter to Granholm, Buttigieg and Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen.

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