Electric Vehicles

House Bill Aims To Address Increasing Electricity Demand Of EV Charging Infrastructure

U.S. Representatives Sean Casten, D-Ill., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., recently introduced the Electric Vehicle Grid Readiness, Improvement, and Development Act (EV GRID Act) to meet the increasing electricity demand of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was “a major step for EV investments and grid preparedness, but significant questions remain unanswered on how to ensure chargers can be interconnected with the grid,” Casten’s office said in a news release, noting that, for example, a Level 3 charger needs 350-kilowatts of electricity, “and in rural areas this would be a huge undertaking.”

The EV Grid Act would direct the Department of Energy to conduct a study and develop a plan related to the ability of the electric system to meet the electricity demand of new electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The study would anticipate the growth in the use of electric vehicles necessary to meet President Biden’s climate goals, and would assess how much additional electrical generation, transmission, and distribution capacity will need to be added to the electric system to meet demand.

Through assessing various demand scenarios, DOE would then identify geographic areas in which greater investment in the electric system would be necessary to ensure chargers could be prevalent and connected to the grid.

After the study is published, the DOE would then work in coordination with the Building a Better Grid Initiative of the Office of Electricity and the Vehicle Technologies Office of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology to develop a plan on how DOE can assist the electric system in meeting the anticipated increase in demand. Congress would then be provided with recommendations on how these goals can be supported legislatively.

Tonko is Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change.

Click here for resources and opportunities for public power tied to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act curated by the American Public Power Association.