Biden Administration Proposes EV Charging Standards

Rules would regulate payment, technology, location and more
electric vehicle charging station
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy are proposing standards for electric vehicle (EV) chargers to ensure any motorist driving an EV can use any charger, regardless of the vehicle or the location of the charging station.

“Everyone should be able to find a working charging station when and where they need it, without worrying about paying more or getting worse service because of where they live,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a briefing with reporters. “You shouldn’t have to sort through half-a-dozen apps on your phone just to be able to pay at a charging station. And no matter where you live or where you’re headed, everyone should be able to count on fast charging, fair pricing, and easy-to-use payment for their EVs.”

The proposed standards would require any EV charger built under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program to be interoperable, similar to the flexibility of fuel dispensers for vehicles with internal combustion engines. The standards would also prohibit membership requirements to use a charger and would set requirements for payment and other associated technologies.

Under the proposed standards, EV charging stations would be built every 50 miles along major highways, and no more than one mile off those corridors. They direct states to ensure that EV charging stations are built in less dense parts of the country, including rural and tribal communities. The standards require EV charging companies to provide customers with real-time information, so they can tell when a charging station is occupied or broken. They also require at least four 150kW DC fast charging ports per station to address range anxiety among consumers.

The announcement arrives as the national average gasoline price continues to reach record highs due to a variety of geopolitical factors, including Russia's war on Ukraine.

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