US says private companies investing more than $700m to expand domestic electric vehicle charger manufacturing capacity after $7.5bn subsidy package
The US administration said on Tuesday that private companies are investing more than $700 million (£569m) to boost the country’s electric vehicle (EV) charger manufacturing capacity, amidst a push to boost EVs’ market share and make them more practical for drivers.
The administration said the investments would create at least 2,000 jobs.
Volkswagen unit Electrify America has set aside $450m for EV charger expansion and Siemens is spending $250m to expand its charger factories in Grand Prairie, Texas and Ponoma, California, White House officials said.
EV charging network operator FLO is investing $3m in its first US assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
$7.5bn charger subsidies
The spending will help increase US EV charger manufacturing capacity to 250,000 units per year, officials said, without giving a figure for current capacity.
US president Joe Biden last August set a goal of making EVs, fuel cell or hybrid vehicles make up half of all new vehicles sold in 2030, with the aim of expanding the country’s EV charging network to 500,000 by that date, up from about 100,000 currently.
Lawmakers authorised more than $7.5bn in subsidies to build up the nation’s EV charging network in last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law.
Deputy national climate advisor Ali Zaidi said on Monday the goals and subsidies have spurred private manufacturing investments that mean chargers aren’t being imported and are instead creating job opportunities domestically.
A report released on Monday showed jobs in the energy business rose 4 percent last year, led by jobs in the green vehicle sector.
Kroger, the US’ second-largest supermarket chain and second-largest retailer overall after Wal-Mart, said last week it was adding more DC fast EV chargers and level 2 Volta EV chargers to its stores.
The company, which operates 2,800 food stores under various brands, hosts about 350 chargers with the Blink, Electrify America, EVgo, Tesla and Volta charging networks in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
Level 3 or DC fast chargers can charge an EV in 20 to 30 minutes, while Level 2 chargers output about 18 to 28 miles of range per hour.
San Francisco-based Volta operates chargers at 16 Kroger stores in Atlanta and Indianapolis and said it would expand to Kroger locations in Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville; Michigan; and Southern California this year.
The company’s charging stations feature massive 55-inch interactive displays and Volta uses the advertising revenue from these to cover charging at its Level 2 stations, although it charges an additional fee for its Level 3 chargers.