ARIZONA, USA — The Arizona Department of Transportation is aiming to provide a big boost to the batteries of electric car vehicles.
The agency recently announced a new effort to build electric vehicle charging stations along major interstates across Arizona.
"There is certainly going to be a need at some point to have more charging stations if it doesn't already exist," says Doug Nick with ADOT.
The state would receive $76,000,000 from the federal government over the next five years to fund the project.
The money is from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
"What we found out in Arizona over the last several years is that the alternative fuel vehicles that are being registered are exclusively electric," says Nick.
According to a recent report from Electrek.com, Arizona has more than 28,000 registered electric vehicles, but only 2,000 charging stations.
The report says there are 14 cars on the road in Arizona for every one charging station.
"I think it's a great idea. I charge at home. It's only when I travel far, do I have to plan my trip in order to make it there," says EV owner Jorge Mendoza.
As of now, the state says the plan will be limited to only federal interstates, which would exclude state roads, like U.S. 93, a popular route for many Arizonans going to Las Vegas.
Nick says that could change if more federal or state dollars become available in the future.
ADOT says as of now there is not a specific number on how many charging stations will be built.
Nick says the goal is to have them located within 50 miles of each other along I-I8, I-10, I-17, and I-40.
The state is currently studying the plan and must submit a final proposal to the Department of Transportation in Washington D.C. by August.
ADOT says a public listening session will also be held in August to get public feedback on the plan.
Nick says there's no timetable on when the first stations will be built, but he says he hopes the federal government will act quickly.
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