Biden’s $7.5B EV Charger Plan Stalls

In November 2021, the White House celebrated the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, touting it as a transformative investment in the nation’s infrastructure. One of the critical goals of this legislation, officially known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), was to allocate $7.5 billion toward developing a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers in the United States.

The Biden administration emphasized that the funding would support the deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to provide convenient charging options for residents and enable long-distance travel between communities. The ultimate objective was to establish a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers, promoting the adoption of electric vehicles, reducing emissions, improving air quality, and creating job opportunities across the country.

However, despite the initial enthusiasm surrounding this initiative, the implementation of the EV charger network has faced significant delays. In a recent report, Politico attributes these delays not to corruption or conspiracy but rather to government inefficiency. States and the charger industry have expressed frustration with the complex contracting and performance requirements for receiving federal funds, impeding progress in charger installation.

While more than $2 billion of the allocated funds have been authorized for distribution to states, less than half of the states have initiated the bidding process for charger construction, let alone commenced actual construction. This lag in progress is concerning given the projected surge in consumer demand for electric vehicles, with estimates indicating a need for six times the current number of EV chargers by 2030. The IIJA has only provided one-sixth of the required chargers thus far. Essentially, the legislation has multiplied the number of EV chargers by a mere fraction.

The cost per charger is impossible to determine when dividing $7.5 billion by the number of installed chargers due to the lack of progress. This failure of the “once-in-a-generation” legislation is a stark reminder of the government’s inefficacy in achieving its objectives.

The consequences of this delay in EV charger installation may extend beyond infrastructure concerns. It could impact the upcoming elections, as disillusioned left-leaning voters may be less motivated to support President Biden if progress remains stagnant. The lack of tangible achievements resulting from the IIJA may erode confidence in the administration’s ability to enact meaningful change.

Critics argue that the $7.5 billion investment in the EV charger network may not be worth it if it fails to deliver the intended outcomes. The absence of progress could impact President Biden’s political standing and diminish his ability to campaign effectively.

In conclusion, the delays in implementing the EV charger network under the IIJA highlight the challenges of government inefficiency. These delays may extend beyond infrastructure concerns, potentially influencing future elections and public perception of the administration’s ability to deliver on promises.