How the infrastructure agreement could help Texas enhance electric vehicle charging

The demand for EVs (electric vehicles) is growing as petrol prices remain at all-time highs. Electric vehicle sales are expected to increase by 37% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to AutoPacific. Texas will now get millions of dollars in federal funding to construct a statewide electric charging infrastructure.

Car enthusiasts were ecstatic to get an early glance at new electric cars at the Austin Auto Show.  According to a spokesperson for the event, this year’s display included the most electric automobiles ever.

Subaru’s first electric model was limited to 6,000 units, according to sales consultant Kris Tippens. “They were sold out in less than 12 minutes.”

The United States’ share of the market of plug-in EV (electric vehicle) sales is just one-third that of China, as per the White House. President Joe Biden has stated that the United States should be a leader in this area.

“I believe that moving to these kinds of cars highlights our position as a world leader,” Tippens added. “It indicates that we, as a country, are moving in the right direction.”

The infrastructure bill that was proposed by the President Biden administration includes $7.5 billion for the construction of the country’s first countrywide infrastructure of EV chargers. Texas is going to receive $408 million over the next five years to improve its own network.

“We’ll start building electric vehicle chargers like this one every 50 miles,” said Tom “Smitty” Smith, who is the Texas Electric Transportation Electrification director. “The state is currently working on a plan to put these in every county seat.”

The majority of charging stations may be found in big cities such as Dallas, Austin, and Houston. According to Austin Energy, the city has over 1,000 electric charging points.

“Austin is unique in that we have a significant infrastructure for electric vehicles, including a lot of fast-charging stations,” Tippen explained. “As a result, we’re one of the most important markets for electric automobiles.”

However, driving an electric vehicle is more difficult in rural regions of the state, like East Texas. Here, there are large gaps between charging outlets.

“Half of the money will go toward rural charging infrastructure,” Smith stated. “We, the people in rural areas, can benefit from the electric vehicle revolution in the same way that city dwellers can.”

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas requested the Texas Department of Transportation in March to guarantee that all Texans had easy access to the electric charging points.

“In addition, I order TxDOT and stakeholders to include in the plan a method for Texans to easily travel in an electric vehicle from Beaumont to El Paso and Texline to Brownsville — with a concentration on rural location and connectivity,” Abbott stated.

Because most charging points are in more affluent areas of Austin, Smith believes that expanding access will benefit not only the city’s ecology but also its affordability crisis.

“Electric vehicles really can help low-income folks and young people who are just starting to be able to run a car for around 40% of the cost,” Smith added. “That’s a huge method to save money that allows people to stretch their expenditures in our Austin economy.”