Billions of dollars in infrastructure bill for charging could supercharge electric vehicle adoption

Most estimates call for battery and plug-in hybrid EVs being between 30% and 50% of the U.S. fleet by 2030. EV charging is still an emerging business model, and no one yet knows which one is going to be the most successful.

That’s part of the significance of the $7.5 billion earmarked for EV charging, said Stan Caldwell, executive director of Traffic21 Institute and Mobility21 at Carnegie Mellon University.

“This can start to fill the gaps where the market is not going to come quickly,” he said. And not just in terms of urban, where market forces have concentrated the stations, vs. suburban and rural areas, he said.

There are access equity issues at play as well, around EV owners who may not have access to private charging, Caldwell said. “This is where the money (in the bill) can be strategically placed … Technology is not the biggest hurdle, the business model is,” he said.