Texas Has Major Plan to Add Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, Though Less Than 1% of Texas Cars Are EVs

LEONIA, NEW JERSEY - JUNE 17: The sun set behind EV charging stations on June 17, 2022 in Leonia, New Jersey. The Biden administration is revealing a new set of standards to help accelerate the installation of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the US by 2030.(Kena Betancur/VIEW press via Getty)
Kena Betancur/VIEW press via Getty

The Texas Department of Transportation plans to ramp up infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs), laying out a five-year plan which includes adding charging stations to major interstates, despite the fact that less than one percent of vehicles in Texas are EVs.

According to the Texas Tribune, “the plan is to have charging stations every 50 miles along most non-business interstate routes.”

“TxDOT [Texas Department of Transportation] will partner with the private sector to develop the EV Charging Network. Per FHWA [Federal Highway Administration] guidance the plan will start with the Electric Alternative Fuel Corridors then work with rural/small urban areas and MPOs [metropolitan planning organizations] across the state,” TxDOT’s draft report reads in part.

“Non-Alternative Fuel Corridors will be ranked by VMT [vehicle miles traveled] and developed in succession. County Seats will be the primary focus in rural areas with DC [direct current] Fast Charge stations and MPOs will install a combination of DC and Level II stations determined by the MPOs,” it continues, noting that the department will “balance the rollout of the network between urban and rural areas splitting funds per year on a 50/50 basis” after the Electric Alternative Fuel Corridors are constructed.

According to the report, “typical specifications” for the Electric Alternative Fuel Corridor and Rural County Seat locations would include 150-350kW Max Power with a 45-minute time limit. Signs would recommend that vehicles be charged to 80 percent, and according to the Tribune, the stations would be able to bring a vehicle from “10% to 80% in about half an hour.”

Texas Tribune explains:

The funding is coming from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year, which is estimated to allocate about $408 million over five years to Texas for the purpose of expanding its electric vehicle charging network. No funds from the state budget will be used. Nationally, the goal is to create a network of 500,000 convenient and reliable electric vehicle chargers by 2030. In total from the infrastructure act, Texas is expected to receive about $35.44 billion over five years for roads, bridges, pipes, ports, broadband access and other projects.

This project is planned despite the fact that fewer than 1 percent of registered vehicles in Texas are electric. According to the report, there were 129,010 electric vehicles registered in Texas as of May 31, 2022.

Per TxDOT’s report [emphasis added]:

Current EV Ownership in Texas: 129,010 electric vehicles are registered in the state of Texas as of May 31, 2022. Of the 254 counties across Texas, there are electric vehicles registered in 233 counties. Registered EV distribution is 73.8% Battery Electric and 26.2% Plug-In Hybrid Electric. Non-Tesla vehicle models make up nearly half of all EVs registered across the state. Also, over a quarter of electric vehicles are 2021 models. Electric vehicles currently constitute under 1% of all vehicles registered in Texas.

Nonetheless, the department contends that infrastructure must be ramped up in order to support the growing rate of electric vehicle ownership, which has tripled in the Lone Star State since 2020.

The news comes as Americans continue to grapple with record-high gas prices, with no solution in sight. In fact, President Biden’s Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm recently admitted that the current situation is “unsustainable,” but she also said it serves as a “very compelling case” for Americans to switch to an electric vehicle.

“If you filled up your EV and you filled up your gas tank with gasoline, you would save $60 per fill-up by going electric rather than using gasoline, but it’s a very compelling case. But again, we want to bring down the price at the point of purchase,” she said:

Biden has made a similar argument. 

“Under my plan, which is before the Congress now, we can take advantage of the next generation of electric vehicles — that a typical driver will save about $80 a month from not having to pay gas at the pump,” Biden said during a March speech, adding that the U.S. must “double down on our commitment to green energy.”

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