An electric vehicle charging station is shown at the Indiana Toll Road plaza in Rolling Prairie. Federal money will soon help the state develop a charging network along all of its interstate highways. Provided image
An electric vehicle charging station is shown at the Indiana Toll Road plaza in Rolling Prairie. Federal money will soon help the state develop a charging network along all of its interstate highways. Provided image
Funds from the federal infrastructure bill will help create a national network of electric vehicle charging stations as sales of EVs continue to grow and owners look to lengthen their traveling range.

Indiana intends to use its share of those funds to support creation of charging stations at least every 50 miles along interstate highways, Indiana Department of Transportation Deputy Chief of Staff Scott Manning told the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission at its Thursday meeting.

"It's really about addressing range anxiety for longer travel," Manning said of INDOT's developing plan for the state's use of nearly $100 million in federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funds over the next five years.

State plans for NEVI funding are due to the Federal Highway Administration by Aug. 1. Manning said INDOT expects approval of its plan by the end of September, at which point the first year's allotment of $14.7 million would be released.

The money can be used along federally designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. Indiana's corridors include its interstate highways, with two final stretches — I-469 around Fort Wayne and I-265 in Floyd and Clark counties — under consideration for approval now.

States are allowed to contract with private entities for installation, operation and maintenance of the station.

The state will require the charging stations to be within one mile of an interchange, Manning said. They'll likely be located at businesses along the interstate like gas stations, truck stops and restaurants.

"Those are probably all going to be ideal locations," Manning said, both as a place for drivers to spend the time while their vehicles charge and for being more likely to offer a well-lit, 24-hours-a-day setting.

Charging stations won't be at rest stops, though, because federal regulations don't allow states to "monetize" them, he said.

The state is working with utility companies on details regarding provision of the necessary power for the chargers, each of which will provide at least 150KW and will use the common CCS1 connector.

The state plan will also include requirements regarding maintenance and reliability of the charging stations.

The full NEVI program includes $5 billion that will be distributed through the Federal Highway Administration's existing funding formulas and $2.5 billion in discretionary funding, with the goal of creating a network of 500,000 EV chargers nationwide by 2030.
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