The Biden administration’s infrastructure law is not only providing funding for new electric vehicle (EV) chargers, but it has also allocated $100 million to replace existing chargers that are non-functional.
The Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator program, announced by the White House, is now accepting applications for this funding. The program is based on data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC), which tracks temporarily unavailable public charging stations. As of September 11, AFDC data showed that 4.1% of the 151,506 nationwide stations were unavailable.
The $100 million designated for replacement of unreliable chargers is expected to cover all eligible projects, including public charging stations and privately owned stations that are publicly accessible. This funding comes from the $5 billion set aside for EV charging under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program, which aims to establish a nationwide network of 500,000 chargers.
A key aspect of the infrastructure law is addressing charger reliability issues. To ensure uptime, chargers built with NEVI funding must have an average annual uptime greater than 97% per charging port, excluding scheduled maintenance, vandalism, and natural disasters. Although limited hours of operation may be permitted in some cases, stations along Alternative Fuel Corridors are required to be open 24/7.
J.D. Power reported that 1 in 5 charging attempts fail, mainly due to non-functioning chargers. Furthermore, a study conducted in California revealed a significant number of non-functioning fast-chargers.
Sources: White House, U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, J.D. Power