The transportation infrastructure bill long promised by President Trump and Congress was finally introduced in the Senate on Monday—and it may include some money for electric cars.
The bill, called America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, proposes to spend $287 billion on transportation projects over the next five years, and up to $1 billion of that could go toward projects favoring clean transportation.
The infrastructure package is one of the few places that Democrats and Republicans in Washington might be able to find common ground.
As proposed, it includes up to $1 billion for states to build "alternative-fuel" infrastructure. That could include funding for hydrogen, natural gas, ethanol, or even biodiesel stations or other infrastructure. With more than 2 million electric cars on the roads today, compared with fewer than 200,000 natural gas cars and barely 5,000 hydrogen vehicles, however, most of that money seems more likely to be spent on public electric-car charging stations.
BMW i3 charging at EVgo fast chargers at Chevron station in Menlo Park, California
Add that to the remainder of the $2 billion Volkswagen is spending to build out its Electrify America charging network, plus hundreds of millions spent by other charging networks, and by 2023, charging stations could be plentiful.
If used only on electric-car charging infrastructure, the additional government funding would boost spending on EV charging by 47 percent, according to an analysis by consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, cited in GreenTechMedia.
Without pressure for profits, as most proprietary charging networks face, federal funding could allow states to build more DC fast-charging sites along highways to allow EV-drivers to travel between cities more easily, as Tesla drivers can already do using the company's Supercharger system.
The Act also proposes $3 billion for projects to help states to lower their carbon emissions, such as by reducing traffic congestion and expanding carpool lanes. States that succeed in lowering their carbon emissions can also compete for an additional $500 million in grant money.