Feds offer $4.5B for electric-car charging stations

Keith Laing
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington – President Barack Obama’s administration is making $4.5 billion in loan guarantees available to facilitate the development of more charging stations for electric cars, White House officials said Thursday.

Officials said the president is moving to make charging stations eligible for loans offered by the Department of Energy for renewable energy and efficient energy projects.

It said the funding is part of a partnership between the federal government, states and private companies that will be used to spur greater adoption of electric cars.

“By working together across the federal government and with the private sector, we can ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations at home, at work, and on the road — creating a new way of thinking about transportation that will drive America forward,” the White House said.

The announcement comes as federal regulators say that U.S. automakers may miss the goal of achieving a fleetwide average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a marker set by the Obama administration in 2012.

Automakers have said low gas prices have dampened enthusiasm for fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. Trucks and SUVs have been top sellers.

Sierra Club Transportation Representative Andrew Linhardt praised the funding: “Encouraging the transition to electric vehicles is an all-around win for our climate, our public health, and our economy.”

The White House said the funding builds on “a record of progress from multiple programs across the Administration that are working to scale up electric vehicles and fueling infrastructure.”