As part of the Biden administration’s ambitious electric vehicle (EV) agenda, which involves creating a nationwide network of EV charging stations and incentivizing auto manufacturers to go electric, Wisconsin is set to receive $78,654,701 in funding for the next five years to help bolster its EV infrastructure.
The funds come from Biden’s Infrastructure law, which passed last year, and entails 34 approved states as well as Puerto Rico so far. The goal is to eventually install around 500,000 charging stations in the country, encompassing 53,000 miles of highway.
The money will primarily be used for installing EV charging stations in the state, with the goal of addressing a forefront concern that prevents many residents from adopting electric vehicles – the fear of running out of power in the middle of a trip.
If proposed guidelines are passed, this could mean that there would be at least one EV charging station every 50 miles. The federal dollars put into this project also aims to spur change in habits from both consumers and manufacturers when it comes to electric vehicles.
Wisconsin could see charging stations arrive alongside major routes as fast as next summer.
Craig Thompson, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation secretary, praised the plan, noting that the federal funds would help build Wisconsin’s EV infrastructure and make electric vehicles more accessible for residents.
In terms of electric vehicle ownership, Wisconsin is in the bottom 10 in the country, with only 158.3 electric vehicles registered per 100,000 people. Dane County had the most electric vehicles registered at 2,227, while Milwaukee came in second at 1,320, based on 2021 data.
Electric vehicles currently only make up for about five percent of car sales in the U.S., taking up less than one percent of the vehicles being driven in the country.