Electric vehicles: US proposes minimum standards

New proposals from the US Department of Transport (DOT) would require government-funded EV charging stations to use DC fast chargers and have at least four ports capable of simultaneously charging four EVs.

Each must also be at or above 150 kW. 

The proposals would also bar charging stations from requiring a membership to use them.

The DOT said that requiring the fastest chargers currently available will help “allow for convenient charging solutions”.

Deploying a nationwide network of fast, reliable EV charging stations is a key aspect of the Biden administration’s efforts to encourage more Americans to switch to electric vehicles, despite efforts to win substantial additional funding for EVs in Congress currently proving difficult.

By 2030, President Joe Biden wants 50% of all new vehicles sold to be electric or plug-in hybrid electric models and 500,000 new EV charging stations. 

The standards aim to ensure the government-funded EV charging network “is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans, and interoperable between different charging companies, with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more,” the DOT said.

The new proposed rule from the Federal Highway Administration would ensure EV owners could use charging stations nationwide that would have “similar payment systems, pricing information (and) charging speeds”.

“Everybody should be able to find a working charging station when and where they need it – without worrying about paying more or getting worse service because of where they live,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

The rules would ensure EV stations built nationwide can communicate and operate on the same software platforms. States will need to operate federally funded charging ports for at least five years.

EV chargers would need to be working 97% of the time and set data standards that third-party apps can provide real-time charging status information.

The proposed rules also set certification standards for workers installing, operating, and maintaining EV chargers.

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