- The White House proposed standards to make charging an electric car easier and more user-friendly.
- The rules guide how $5 billion in federal funding for electric-car charging can be spent.
- The Biden administration wants the US to have 500,000 electric-car chargers by 2030.
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The Biden administration is looking to change that. On Thursday, the White House announced standards aimed at making electric car charging more convenient, affordable, reliable, and ultimately more bearable.
The proposed rules outline what new charging stations need to be like to qualify for a slice of the billions that the federal government is pouring into EV charging infrastructure. In February, the White House announced a plan to spend $5 billion over the next five years on a nationwide charging network of 500,00 chargers.
Initially, the programme will focus on shoring up charging along major highways.
Today, electric car owners rely on a patchwork of charging providers that use different interfaces, mobile apps, pricing structures, and membership systems. In a gas car, you can be reasonably assured that paying for and pumping gas will be an identical experience anywhere you go. That's not so in an electric vehicle, and it can make charging a hassle for people who don't own a car from Tesla, which has built out its own vast, proprietary charging network.
The White House's new proposal aims to standardise the charging experience by making sure that federally funded stations all offer similar payment systems, charging speeds, pricing information, and functionality. The idea, according to the Department of Transportation, is to ensure hassle-free charging regardless of what state a person finds themself in or what brand of electric car they drive.
Under the rules, charging stations won't be able to require a membership for use. The government also laid out standards for how charging stations should be maintained over time, potentially leading to fewer broken chargers, another persistent problem.
One of the biggest charging providers in the country won't qualify for funding under the new standards: Tesla. The programme aims to build out infrastructure that any EV owner can use, so Elon Musk's proprietary plugs are off the table.