New electric vehicle charging stations in places such as Mason City or Newton, which already have decent numbers of electric vehicle owners, could spark even more interest in them.
That’s what the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Biden Administration hope for, and why they want to make life easier for the growing number of Iowans who are driving electric vehicles.
Money from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) will give the DOT the resources to build more charging stations in a variety of places, and support the growing market.
Iowa is receiving more than $7 million for 2022, and $51.4 million in five-year infrastructure funding.
“This network will offer convenient electric vehicle charging opportunities and facilitate a more reliable travel network for electric vehicles within the state, as well as across the country,” the DOT wrote.
According to the DOT, more than 9,400 electric and hybrid vehicles were registered in Iowa as of April this year. Sales of electric vehicles are also increasing every year and automakers are increasingly building more options. Most of the state’s electric vehicles are in Central and Eastern Iowa, but there’s sizable amounts in every region of the state, especially in Northeast Iowa.
Iowa Republicans have recently added more fees for electric vehicle owners, but that hasn’t stopped Iowans from buying them. Iowa has 221 public charging locations across the state, with more pending. Most have more than one spot to charge.
The goal for the program is to make electric vehicles more accessible and reliable. Making electric vehicles easier to own can also contribute to the state’s economy and air quality.
The main priorities for the program are:
- To have a fast-charging system for electric vehicles that supports travel for short and long distances
- Equitable access to electric vehicles for Iowans on a local level
- Enough chargers to give travelers options for transportation and energy
- Building a system to help lower emissions, which will increase human and environmental health
- Having a system that can adapt to changes in technology and the economy without leaving Iowans behind
- Boosting economies and convenience by putting chargers in useful places with businesses and/or restaurants
Before making the plan, the DOT sought public opinion about priorities for charging station locations, and what accommodations Iowans would like to have nearby. The short survey is open until June 24.
The electric vehicle plan is due on Aug. 1 and the deadline for federal approval will probably be Sept. 30.
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