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Georgia officials want federal help to pay for electric vehicle infrastructure

(The Center Square) — The Georgia Department of Transportation hopes to secure federal funding to pay for a network of electric vehicle charging stations across The Peach State.

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GDOT has submitted the state’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan required to tap into federal funding for developing the network. Georgia officials expect to secure $135 million from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed in 2021, established the NEVI to fund states’ EV charging infrastructure.

“Georgia has a rapidly expanding electric vehicle ecosystem that is highlighted by a robust EV business community and the fact that our state is a leader in the Southeast when it comes to electric vehicle registrations,” GDOT Commissioner Russel McMurry said in a statement. “With the needs of both the public and private businesses in mind, the department submitted this plan with input from a wide range of stakeholders including utilities, EV manufacturers, community-based groups and private sector partners.”

Georgia leaders have targeted EV companies to locate facilities in the state. Georgia officials have announced more than 20 EV-related projects since 2020, including offering $1.8 billion in incentives to lure Hyundai Motor Group to locate its first fully dedicated EV and battery manufacturing facility in the state.

GDOT officials said the state has the most EV charging stations of any Southeastern state. Georgia has about 30,000 EVs and more than 1,300 publicly available EV charging stations with roughly 3,400 individual outlets.

A Joint Study Committee on the Electrification of Transportation will, in part, explore how to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure across Georgia.

A commercial Level 2 charging station costs between $1,500 and $6,500, and such a station can usually accommodate two cars simultaneously. The charging time ranges from three to eight hours, depending on the vehicle, Grant Feek, the CEO of Tred, an online vehicle marketplace, told The Center Square.

“The optimal ratio — as determined by EV and transportation groups — is one charging station per EV on the road,” Feek said. “The current actual number is far below that.

“If all of Georgia’s 3.3 million licensed drivers converted to an EV, Georgia would need to install 825,000 charging stations to meet the optimal ratio of one charging station for every four EVs,” Feek added.

Charging companies such as Chargepoint and EVgo or EV manufacturers like Tesla own many publicly accessible charging stations, and those companies pay for the installation, Feek said. Municipalities, developers or companies that want to offer free charging to their residents and customers might pay to install charging stations at their locations.

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

The Georgia Virtue
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