Biden’s Infrastructure Bill Set Aside Billions For EV Chargers, But Not A Single One Has Come Online Yet

The bipartisan infrastructure law allocated billions of taxpayer dollars for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, but the program has not yet installed a single EV charger anywhere in the country, Politico reported Tuesday.

The infrastructure bill, signed into law in 2021, made $7.5 billion in taxpayer funds available to subsidize the buildout of EV chargers all across the U.S., but the funding has been slow to make any impact, according to Politico. The slow rollout of a key aspect of President Joe Biden’s EV agenda could significantly hinder his longer-term vision for a future in which EVs dominate America’s roadways.

The administration has approved more than $2 billion of the infrastructure spending to go out to states, but less than 25 states have started to accept bids from prospective contractors, a step that comes before construction actually begins, Politico reported. States and charging companies point to the litany of oft-changing standards that they have to meet in order to be eligible to receive the subsidies as a key reason behind the sluggishness.


Range anxiety and inconsistent charger availability are major concerns surrounding EVs, and there have been numerous prominent examples of the problems sidetracking enthusiastic EV drivers. Charging stations tend to be relatively abundant in densely-populated coastal regions, but they are much less common in more rural areas of the country, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

The charging station funds are one of several subsidies that the administration has pursued to help reach its goal of having 50% of all new car sales be EVs by 2030. Other examples include a $7,500 EV consumer tax credit made available via the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Biden’s signature climate bill, and billions of dollars administered by the DOE to help manufacturers equip their plants to mass-produce EVs in the future.

The slow rollout and the sagging condition of the larger EV market may pose a problem for Biden’s reelection campaign in 2024. The administration frequently highlights its massive EV spending as a win-win that helps counter climate change while also breathing life back into the American manufacturing sector, but the industry appears to be struggling: manufacturers are losing large amounts of money on their EV product lines, consumer demand may not be not growing at fast enough rates and automobile executives are starting to back off of some of their near-term production targets.

Neither the White House nor the Energy Department responded immediately to requests for comment.

Nick Pope on November 28, 2023

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