US proposes standards for fast charging projects for electric vehicles

WASHINGTON: The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) on Thursday (June 9) proposed minimum standards and requirements for electric vehicle (EV) charging projects funded under a US$5 billion government program.

The rules would require that government-funded EV charging stations use DC fast chargers and have at least four ports that can simultaneously charge four EVs and each must be 150 kW or more. It would also prevent charging stations from requiring a membership to use them.

USDOT says requiring the fastest chargers currently available will “enable easy charging solutions.”

Establishing a nationwide network of fast, reliable charging stations for EVs is critical to the Biden administration’s efforts to encourage more Americans to switch to electric vehicles, even as efforts to secure substantial additional funding for EVs in Congress to win stalled.

By 2030, President Joe Biden wants 50 percent of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric models and 500,000 new EV charging stations. He has not agreed to phase out sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2030.

The standards aim to ensure that the government-funded EV charging network is “easy to use, reliable and accessible to all Americans, and interoperable between different charging companies, with comparable payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds and more,” according to USDOT. †

The Federal Highway Administration’s new proposed rule would allow electric vehicle owners across the country to use charging stations that would have “similar payment systems, pricing information (and) charging speeds.”

“Everyone should be able to find a working charging station where and when they need it – without having to worry about paying more or having poorer service because of where they live,” said Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The rules would ensure that nationwide EV stations can communicate and operate on the same software platforms. States must operate federally funded charging ports for at least five years.

EV chargers should work 97 percent of the time and set data standards that allow third-party apps to provide real-time charging status information.

Proposed rules establish certification standards for workers who install, operate, and maintain EV chargers.