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Barriers to Installing EV Charging Stations Include Municipal Permitting and Utility Connection Processes – Route Fifty

By Catherine Geanuracos

There’s a fabulous amount of federal money that’s been allocated to expand the nation’s EV charging infrastructure. While the rollout has been painfully slow, eventually states and local governments will be able to access these funds. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that there’s not nearly enough understanding from federal, state or local policymakers on how dysfunctional municipal permitting systems and utility connection processes are today. For a program that’s already been slow to launch, it’s about to slam into systems that are already struggling, even before we need to dramatically ramp up capacity.

In just the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, there’s $7.5 billion in funding to improve the country’s charging infrastructure, and the private sector will invest many billions more. The Union of Concerned Scientists projects that we’ll need close to 7 million new charging locations by 2035, spread across public and residential locations. That’s compared to perhaps 100,000 chargers in place now. That would be a 500% increase—challenging even for a smoothly functioning system.


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