A group of 15 automakers, including 6 from the Volkswagen Group, sent a letter to the US Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, urging him to prioritize ultra-high-speed DC fast charging equipment along the nation's highway corridors with the money available in the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program.
The group believes we have a unique opportunity, and getting it right can be transformational for the entire electric vehicle industry moving forward.
From the letter:
"The United States is at an inflection point in the development of the electric vehicle industry. The National Electric Vehicle Formula Program1 included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) represents a transformational opportunity to invest $5 billion in charging infrastructure needed by the growing fleet of battery electric vehicles (BEVs)."
The full letter (Click to enlarge)
The letter was signed by: BMW USA, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Hyundai Motor Company, Kia America, Lucid Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Polestar Automotive USA Inc, Porsche Cars North America Inc, Volkswagen Group of America, and Volvo Car Group.
That's eleven signatures, and four more brand logos are present at the beginning of the letter including Audi, Bugatti, Bently, and Lamborghini (all four are part of the Volkswagen Group).
“I think it’s very important to fund EV charging stations and to also make sure what’s in the next Build Back Better Act to bide down the cost of electric vehicles. Let me explain why. The market is going electric already. That’s gonna happen. The automotive sector is headed that way. We’re not here to cause that technological adoption to happen. We’re here because there are three things that will not happen on their own." - Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg
It's no surprise that Tesla isn't supporting this effort since CEO Elon Musk recently stated that he doesn't believe government should be subsidizing EV charging infrastructure at all. Transportation Buttigieg responded to Musk, stating that EV charging infrastructure is needed to facilitate the transition to electric vehicles.
"A 50 kW charger can restore approximately three miles of range per minute of charging. By contrast, a 150 kW charger has the capacity to restore approximately nine miles of range per minute, while a 350 kW charger is capable of delivering 20 miles of range per minute on a typical vehicle."
It's important to note that the letter specifically calls out 150 kW DC fast chargers to be the minimum acceptable charging power for installations along the nation’s highway corridors. The automakers point out that 50 kW DC fast chargers were fine a few years ago because that's all the EVs could accept, but today and to future-proof, 150 kW and 350 KW units are necessary.
They also point out that the charging equipment must be reliable, which, continues to be an issue across a variety of networks currently in service today. The charging station is useless if it cannot be relied upon, and hopefully, when the contracts eventually do get handed out, there are strict rules with penalties if the network's uptime percentage isn't extremely high.
Do you agree with the automakers on how to spend the available funds? If not, where would you like to see the majority of infrastructure dollars spent? Let us know in the comment section below.