(Radio Iowa) The Transportation Commission has approved moving ahead with plans to use federal money to install more electric car chargers along the interstate highway system. The DOT’s Stuart Anderson says the next step is to get documents ready.
“So these are the application itself that applicants will fill out as they’re seeking this funding, and also supporting information they need, that details, the program requirements and expectations,” he says. He says they will get input on the applications and then hope to send them out by mid-November and get applications back by early next year.
“And then we expect it’ll take us probably a couple of months to review those applications and actually identify award winners, ” Anderson says. He says they expect to get a lot of interest.
“There are some other states that are a little further along in the process and they definitely have received a lot of interest in applications for their program, and their funding as well,” he says. Iowa’s allocation of federal funding is a little more than 50 million dollars.
“We’re still determining exactly how much we will make available in this first round. I expect it’ll be more like two years of the funding, so maybe not quite 20 million dollars. But that’s still to be determined,” Anderson says. “But certainly a significant amount of funding will be available in this first round.” He says the cost of putting in the charges is expected to vary significantly from site to site, as there are very specific power requirements for proper power levels to charge vehicles in a timely manner. And he says there are also requirements that these be operational and reliable chargers. Anderson says the idea of the program is to get a start on building the infrastructure so those with electric cars can feel confident in traveling away from home.
“What we hear often referred to is range anxiety. So that impacts not only owners of electric vehicles, and how willing they are to make longer distance trips with your vehicles. But it’s also a factor in people deciding whether to buy electric vehicles,” Anderson says. It’s not known how many chargers may be installed in the first round as the price can vary quite a bit depending on what is needed to get them up and running at each site.