DALLAS — The White House has an ambitious plan to quintuple the number of public charging stations for electric vehicles in the U.S. in the next few years.
The plan would would increase stations from about 100,000 currently to 500,000 across the country in hopes the convenience of electricity will get more people to drive electric vehicles and reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
“It's really important for people to know they can get where they need to go and get back again so they're comfortable to actually make the shift to a car that's cleaner. That is going to help us really address the challenge of climate change,” White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy explained on Inside Texas Politics.
The charging stations won’t be quite as ubiquitous as gas stations, McCarthy said, but the plan includes public parking lots, apartment buildings and rest areas along highways. Interstates 10, 35 and 45 are among the Texas freeways that are already outfitted with the infrastructure to install them.
“The automakers are really banking on electric vehicles being the future. Many of them have said that by 2035, we could have 100% of the vehicles on the road being electric,” she said. “And so, it's an exciting shift for all of us who like clean air and want to address climate change.”
The proposal is part of the president’s infrastructure proposal that is currently being negotiated in Congress. Some of the funding would be public, McCarthy said, but the idea will also need investment from private business.
Because of that, McCarthy admits, it’s going to take a while before we start to see the massive increase in charging stations.
Separately, the General Services Administration, which operates the federal government’s fleet of vehicles, recently set a goal to transition that entire federal fleet to zero emission vehicles, which is a massive undertaking.
“The U.S. has one of the largest fleets in the world, frankly. And so, part of the whole idea of President Biden's ‘whole-of-government approach’ is to make sure that we use up procurement dollars to actually advance the kind of future that we're looking for and the kind of industries that we want to grow," McCarthy explained. " And electric vehicles are clearly part of the future.”
WFAA Reporter David Schechter tried out an electric vehicle on a Texas road trip and searched for charging stations across the state. Watch how well it held up in the video below.