April 07, 2022

Casten, Tonko Introduce EV Grid Act to Meet Increasing Electricity Demand of EV Charging Infrastructure

Washington, DC (April 7, 2022) – Today, US Representatives Sean Casten (IL-06), Co-chair of SEEC's Power Task Force and Paul Tonko (NY-20), Chair of the Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change introduced the Electric Vehicle Grid Readiness, Improvement, and Development Act (EV GRID Act) to meet the increasing electricity demand of EV charging infrastructure at the pace necessary to achieve President Biden's climate, cost reduction, and energy independence goals.

Congressman Casten said, "The Infrastructure and Jobs Act was a great down payment on a path toward a clean energy future, but unless we take action to meet increasing electricity demand from EV charging infrastructure, we'll have a real problem on our hands. My bill will ensure our electrical grid is prepared for the influx of EV chargers necessary to combat climate change, achieve energy independence, and lower costs for Americans."

"The transition to an electrified transportation system is critical, and we must do all in our power to ensure that it happens smoothly," Congressman Tonko said. "This transition will require major infrastructure deployment and upgrades, and will fundamentally change energy demand on our grid. It only makes sense to have our nation's top energy minds at the Department of Energy study this issue to help us better plan for rapid and widespread EV adoption."

The $7.5 billion for EV charging infrastructure in IIJA 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. For instance, a Level 3 charger needs 350KW of electricity, and in rural areas this would be a huge undertaking.

To meet this challenge, 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 the President'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, the Department 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, and then provide Congress with recommendations on how these goals can be supported legislatively

Passing this bill is essential to ensure that our grid is ready for the massive transformation in electric transportation that will contribute significantly to decarbonization.

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