Electric Bikes, Scooters Want in on $5 Billion For EV Chargers

  • Transportation Department seeks input on grant program
  • Biden has goal of deploying 500,000 chargers by 2030

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Billions of dollars will head to states to deploy electric vehicle charging — and transportation groups want more than just cars to benefit.

E-bikes, scooters, and electric wheelchairs should be able to use EV chargers funded by the infrastructure law, transportation groups told the Biden administration. The Federal Highway Administration proposed regulations to set minimum standards for electric vehicle charging money in the law, and as the deadline closes Monday for comments on the proposal, groups are making a push for micromobility to be part of the conversation.

“Equity requires accommodating the vehicles used by those that might not have access to personal automobiles,” representatives of advocacy group Transportation for America told the agency.

More than 200 comments have been submitted to the department about the rulemaking as of Monday afternoon. The feedback around bikes and scooters increases pressure on the administration to focus on the electrification of the transportation sector beyond traditional cars.

President Joe Biden set a goal of deploying 500,000 chargers across the country by 2030. The infrastructure law (Public Law 117-58) included $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, including $5 billion in formula funding to states over five years and $2.5 billion that the federal government will award on a competitive basis.

The Transportation Department should issue guidance to ensure EV chargers can charge bikes and scooters as well as cars, Transportation for America, GreenLatinos, and the Oregon Department of Transportation all wrote. The Orgeon agency also suggested opening chargers to electric wheelchairs.

All States Submit Plans to Use Electric Vehicle Charging Money

The Transportation Department is reviewing state plans to access the $5 billion pot of EV charging money with the goal of approving them by Sept. 30. There were nearly 113,000 public EV charge point connectors in the US last year, according to data from BloombergNEF, but the system is plagued by faulty stations.

PeopleForBikes, the League of American Bicyclists, and the North American Bikeshare & Scootershare Association also want secure storage and charging for both personally owned and shared micromobility — which they say can be built from the electrification that supports EV chargers.

The proposed regulation from the FHWA also doesn’t mention co-location, the bike groups told the department. They want to see walking and biking infrastructure near charging stations for people to use while a car is parked and charging.

“The FHWA would be remiss to pass on this important aspect of urban and regional planning,” the bike advocacy groups wrote.

The pressure to better consider bikes and scooters with these infrastructure law dollars comes after electric bike advocates were frustrated to see that an e-bike tax credit was among the provisions left on the cutting room floor from Democrats’ smaller reconciliation bill that became law this month (Public Law 117-169).

To contact the reporter on this story: Lillianna Byington in Washington at lbyington@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Babbage at sbabbage@bgov.com; Andrew Small at asmall@bgov.com

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