With millions in federal funding, PennDOT charges ahead on EV infrastructure development in Pa.

PennDOT reports that there are more than 31,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, nearly triple the roughly 9,700 that were registered in March 2019

By: - July 28, 2022 4:45 pm

PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian speaks to reporters in Carlisle on Thursday, July 28, 2022 about the state’s investments in EV infrastructure (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).

CARLISLE, Pa. – Pennsylvania is set to invest millions of dollars in federal funding to develop its existing electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure for increased accessibility. 

State officials and community partners – including representatives from Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, Sheetz, and PPL Electric Utilities – gathered at the charging stations of a Sheetz gas station in Carlisle on Thursday to discuss how federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) will be used for EV infrastructure development in Pennsylvania.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has given us a great opportunity, and I’m proud of the progress that we – along with our partners – have made to prepare Pennsylvania for a future filled with electric vehicles,” Department of Transportation Secretary Yassmin Gramian said. 

The commonwealth is slated to receive $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds over the next five years with an additional $2.5 billion in grant funding available for charging and fueling infrastructure.

The infrastructure law also requires states to submit an EV infrastructure development plan to the U.S. Department of Transportation by Aug.1, 2022. 

PennDOT said that its plan, which was submitted for consideration on July 21, recommends at least 5,000 new EV charging ports be installed at 2,000 sites across Pennsylvania by 2028 to increase accessibility to EV charging stations. 

To accomplish that goal, Gramian said that PennDOT will leverage “public-private partnerships, cost-sharing mechanisms, and funding through the BIL.”

As it distributes funding for the development of more EV infrastructure, PennDOT said it will continue to follow the EV Equity Guiding Principles put forth by U.S. DOT, which includes: 

  • Making EVs more affordable;
  • Making EV charging more accessible;
  • Investing in fleet electrification;
  • Investing in traditionally underserved, low-income, persons of color and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and
  • Increasing EV awareness, education, and technical capacity.

“Right now we have the opportunity to reinvent transportation in a way that is smarter, cleaner, safer, more equitable, and more efficient than ever before,” Gramian said, “And through thoughtful, productive collaboration with organizations like Clean Cities, businesses like Sheetz, utilities, like PPL, along with our planning partners, and the public, Pennsylvania is working hard to support the future of transportation.”

PennDOT reports that there are more than 31,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, nearly triple the roughly 9,700 that were registered in March 2019.

“Currently, there are over 2,800 public charging ports at over 1,200 locations across Pennsylvania,” Gramian said.

“Pennsylvania has made tremendous progress towards making electric vehicles and EV chargers more accessible to more people,” DEP acting Executive Deputy Secretary Joe Adams said.

Maggie Sheely, regional affairs director at PPL Electric Utilities, told the Capital-Star that PPL has seen interest in EV charging stations and infrastructure development “ramping up” over the last six months, a change she attributes, in part, to inflation and rising gas prices. 

“We anticipate EV adoption to increase significantly over the next several years,” Sheely said. “As this technology develops, we’re staying engaged with our customers, helping them understand how we can provide reliable power, and giving them the support they need.”

Sheely said PPL Electric’s power grid, which serves more than 1.4 million customers across 29 Pennsylvania counties, is ready for the increased demand that more electric vehicles and charging stations will put on the grid. 

“I just want to reassure everyone that our system is adaptable to this demand and we are ready and willing to see more vehicles come online and onto the highways,” Sheely said. “We’re encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles at PPL.”

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.