On Thursday, the Department of Transportation released details about the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. This nearly $5 billion program, which is part of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, provides funds for states to expand their electric vehicle (EV) charging networks.
Under the formula, Texas is eligible for up to $407.8 million over the next five years, more than any other state. Texas could $60 million for NEVI in Fiscal Year 2022 alone. For comparison, California is the second-largest recipient at $383 million over five years.
“A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help us win the EV race by working with states, labor, and the private sector to deploy a historic nationwide charging network that will make EV charging accessible for more Americans.”
States still need to submit a plan to the Department of Transportation detailing how it intends to use NEVI funds. The stated funding levels only indicate what Texas could receive pending approval of its plan.
EVs have steadily gained traction in recent years as the technology improves, with EV sales growth outpacing the rest of the auto industry last year. President Joe Biden wants EVs to account for half of all new vehicle sales in the US by 2030, a goal that auto executives say is feasible.
A major impediment to the adoption of EVs is “range anxiety” where drivers fear that they’ll be stuck with a dead battery and nowhere to charge. Given the sheer size of Texas, overcoming range anxiety will be critical to shifting toward EVs in the state.
The vastness of Texas, along with its relatively underdeveloped EV infrastructure compared to its size, likely accounts for the state receiving the most funding under the NEVI formula.