The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), in a draft plan released this month, broke down a five-year plan to create a network of chargers throughout the state, starting along main corridors and interstate highways before building stations in rural areas.
The state plans to add enough electric charging stations to support 1 million electric vehicles with dozens of new stations to allow for easier long-distance travel. the idea is to have charging stations every 50 miles along most non-business interstate routes.
According to the plan, in most other areas of the state, there will be charging stations every 70 miles. Each station is designed to have multiple stalls for multiple vehicles to charge up.
The chargers will be high-powered at 150 kW, able to charge most electric vehicles from 10% to 80% in roughly a half hour, according to the report.
the funding is coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) which passed last year. An estimated $408 million over five years is being allocated to Texas, for the purpose of expanding its electric vehicle charging network, with no funds from the state budget being used. Nationally, the goal is to create a network of 500,000 electric charging stations by 2030. In total from the IIJA, Texas is expected to receive about $35.44 billion for roads, bridges, pipes, ports, broadband access, and other projects.
Less than 1% of vehicles in Texas are electric. As of May 31, 129,010 electric vehicles are registered, according to the report.
“However, since 2020, the total number of electric vehicles across Texas has nearly tripled as more people adopt the technology,” TxDOT stated in its report. “With rapidly growing adoption rates, it is necessary to ensure Texas will be able to meet the demand of these new vehicles on the road.”
Texas is gathering public comments on the plan, after which it will be finalized. To receive the funds, TxDOT must submit a finalized plan by Aug. 1 to the Federal Highway Administration.
Officials plan to award contracts for construction starting in January.
During the first year of implementation, Texas plans to add around 48 new locations to satisfy the 50-mile FHWA requirement. This is in addition to 27 existing private sector locations and 26 planned locations funded by a separate grant.
The next year, the focus will turn to stations in rural counties, small urban areas and areas advised by metropolitan planning organizations.
After that, during the third through fifth year of implementation, Texas will continue building out charging infrastructure in smaller and rural areas. The report states that charging stations might be equipped with a combination of solar and battery equipment to supplement their power supplies.
The original article can be found at: Road & Bridge