Louisiana wants to use $73 million in federal funds to build electric vehicle chargers statewide – L’Observateur

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development last month submitted a Louisiana State Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment to federal officials as part of a National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program in the infrastructure bill passed by Congress last year.

The law provides nearly $5 billion over the next five years to help states create a nationwide network of 500,000 charging stations spread every 80 miles along designated alternative fuel corridors. Louisiana was allocated $14.1 million for fiscal year 2020-21 and expects to receive a total of more than $73.3 million over the life of the program.

Louisiana’s EV infrastructure plan also fits into Governor John Bel Edwards’s Louisiana Climate Action Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a quarter from 2005 levels by 2025, then by half by 2030, and ultimately net zero emissions by 2050. push to switch 50% of the public vehicle fleet to low- and zero-emission vehicles and fuels by 2035, and 100% by 2050. Another goal is to develop 250 EV charging stations per 100,000 inhabitants by 2050.

As of July 16, Louisiana had a total of 153 electric vehicle chargers in the state, though many are only accessible to Tesla owners. Of those, a dozen are non-Tesla fast charging stations, and only one currently meets the requirements for alternative fuel corridors in federal guidelines.

Louisiana’s EV plan identifies all 943 miles of interstate highways as EV corridors, as well as portions of future Interstate 49 at New Orleans and State Highways 1 and 3235 at Port Fourchon, all of which were eligible for the NEVI program.

The plan requires two phases to allocate NEVI funds, the first for 30 new or upgraded fast charging stations to meet the federal 50-mile distance requirement, and a second for “installation of additional chargers along and outside the nominated aisles to cover high usage areas and to achieve redundancy in deprived areas.”

“To make all nominated (alternative fuel corridor) segments compliant, the modeling suggests that 96 (fast chargers) in 24 locations should be installed in different locations along I-10, I-12, I-20, I-49, I- 55, US-90 and a few local highways in the southern part of the state,” the plan said.

The plan identifies approximately $91 million available for EV infrastructure, including NEVI’s $73 million and $18 million from a required 20% match of grant recipients.

Accordingly, the state estimates that it can install 300-760 charging ports based on these numbers,” the document reads. “The wide range is due to unpredictable factors such as inflation (cost differences in estimates), supply chain changes, site-specific variations, and other changes in hardware or labor costs over the funding period, all of which can lead to more or less allocated chargers from available resources. resources.”

Louisiana expects to fully expand its alternative fuel corridors in the third year of the five-year program and shift its focus to phase two for the final two years, targeting 75 fast-charging sites with at least 300 ports.

As of the end of 2021, there were 3,065 electric vehicles registered in Louisiana, an increase of about 63% from the previous year, although the vast majority are located near New Orleans and Baton Rouge. About half of the state’s 64 parishes have five or fewer registered EVs.

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