Nearly an entire day following the news that Texas would ambitiously be placing charging stations for electric cars every 50 miles on most interstates, news came that Arkansas would also be doing the same along with almost every other state thanks to the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Funding Program (NEVI).
The Arkansas Department of Transportation plans to roll out these EV charging stations over the span of the next 5 years. Thanks to federal funding state leaders have already set a goal to have 500,000 charging stations established by the end of 2025. The funding is coming from the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year. Over the 5 years period the state will add a charging station every 50 miles near an exit along Arkansas’ most used interstates to help people who are traveling long distances.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) has prepared a plan to determine where the stations should go by creating a map as a starting point. According to federal guidelines, the stations have to be every 50 miles and within one mile of an exit ramp to include public accessibility. The charging stations will include three levels of charging stations for different types of electric vehicles.
This will cost $54 million dollars with local and private operators applying for the rights to a charging station. At the moment there’s no telling how much each will cost. The money is part of a $5 billion national plan called the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Funding Program (NEVI), an effort to put up to 50,000 charging stations across the country by the year 2030.
The agencies hope that they will have a plan for the funding submitted by August of this year, and hopefully be able to select applicants as soon as 2023. According to officials, the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment plans to apply for additional federal grants as they become available in hopes to address the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Arkansas.
Another stipulation of the federal funding is to make sure 40% of the funding is used to serve disadvantaged communities across the state. Electric vehicles registered in Arkansas are up 43% in the first five months of 2022 from the end of 2021, according to Scott Hardin with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA).