The Utah Department of Transportation plans to double the state’s current fast charging capacity for electric vehicles by the end of 2024 with the addition of 15 new sites funded through the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI Formula Program launched in 2022.
[Above image by Utah DOT]
Since 2015, the agency said the number of EVs in Utah has grown by an average of 48 percent year over year – and the rate of growth is climbing. To meet this increasing need, the Utah DOT – together with the Utah Office of Energy Development – identified 15 strategic sites for EV fast chargers on major state roads. In response, private entities submitted 75 applications to match their private fund with NEVI funding.
[Editor’s note: The Federal Highway Administration issued final approvals for EV infrastructure deployment plans submitted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in September 2022; plans required in order to access NEVI funding. All of those plans were updated in 2023 to include details regarding ongoing transportation electrification projects.]
The agency – which awarded NEVI program grants for those 15 sites in mid-November – said that fast charging site expansion should allow EV owners to travel anywhere along Utah’s interstates, US-6, and US-191.
“The future is coming, and these 15 new fast charging sites will ensure Utah will be ready for it,” explained Utah DOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras in a statement. “Building out the statewide charging network really opens the door to let Utahns choose to travel where they want, when they want, in the way they want.”
He noted that creating a charging network of this magnitude requires a team effort between the federal government, the state of Utah and private businesses. Utah is receiving about $36 million in federal funding, and – when combined with a minimum 20 percent private match – the program is expected to invest a total of $43 million in the state’s EV charging network.
In this first phase of the program, about $17.5 million will be invested in providing the traveling public with access to fast EV charging every 50 miles along Utah’s interstate highways. No state taxpayer dollars are being used in this phase, as Utah DOT is entering into public-private partnerships to implement the project.
State departments of transportation across the country are engaged in a variety of efforts to support broader deployment of EVs.
For example, the Vermont Agency of Transportation is encouraging businesses, municipalities, and nonprofits to purchase or lease electric fleet vehicles by offering up to $5,000 in rebates for each plug-in EV that replaces an internal combustion engine-powered vehicle.
Concurrently, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is helping support the launch of the state’s first electric aircraft charging hub in early 2024 at Raleigh Executive Jetport in Sanford; a hub designed to be “multimodal” so it can charge not only electric aircraft but electric cars and trucks as well.
Meanwhile, Oregon residents living in multifamily homes as well as motorists near public parking areas may soon have better access to electric vehicle or EV charging stations, thanks to the new Community Charging Rebates Program being rolled out by the Oregon Department of Transportation.