It doesn’t matter where in the United States you live: By 2030, you’ll have greater access to electric vehicle (EV) chargers whether your home is in a remote, rural, or urban area—the goal is to deploy 500,000 of them across the country. And thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we have an unprecedented $7.5 billion to invest in expanding the nation’s network of EV charging stations. The new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, a collaboration between the two federal agencies, will play a key role in making this network a reality.
Equitable access to emission-free transportation is critical: It’s how we will mitigate the climate crisis, accelerate the clean energy transition, and contribute to social equity. In this country, communities of color are more likely than others to live in the shadows of fossil fuel generation, and we know that disadvantaged and underserved communities have been disproportionately affected by air pollution. More than 45 million Americans live within 300 feet of busy roads and major transportation facilities. Their exposure to pollutants from vehicle emissions increases their risk of lung and heart problems and even early death. The U.S. transportation sector alone is responsible for 29% of the nation’s carbon emissions, affecting the health and safety of the American people.
It is long past the time to right these wrongs, and the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative is part of a historic commitment to environmental justice. Justice40 ensures that 40% of the overall benefits of federal investments in clean energy and energy efficiency to reach disadvantaged communities. That includes net-zero mass transit and school buses, and more.
All drivers and passengers need to feel confident traveling long distances in EVs, with plenty of access to charging stations. The Joint Office will work closely with state and local governments, providing technical assistance, to make sure we’re building infrastructure in the best way for each community. This is how we ensure a safe and comfortable way of life for all roadway users, as well as benefits to the communities in which the chargers are located.
As DOE works toward President Biden’s goals of having zero-emission vehicles make up half of all passenger vehicles sold in America by 2030 and to build a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050, we’ve been supporting exciting new research and development projects to electrify the transportation sector and make EVs affordable and reliable for everyone.
For example, in Fall 2021 DOE awarded more than $400 million to projects that will work to put cleaner vehicles on the roads, improve and accelerate the expansion of EV charging and infrastructure, reduce emissions for on- and off-road vehicles, and advance batteries—which power EVs—and connected vehicles.
It’s an exciting time at DOE as the nation accelerates the transition to clean energy, and we are charged up and driving into the future. Join us in our efforts to decarbonize America.