Kentucky to get $90 million to bolster electric vehicle charging infrastructure – Reuters

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Kentucky will receive $90 million to bolster electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Posted 7:44 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

STEVE BITTENBENDER

The central square

Kentucky is on track to receive millions of dollars in federal funding to bolster its electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Earlier this week, the Federal Highway Administration announced that Kentucky was one of 35 states to receive approval for plans to build new charging stations. The state received $89.9 million, with $10.3 million available this year and $69.5 million more over the next five years.

State Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, said in a statement that he was pleased to see Kentucky in the first round of approvals and that lawmakers will work to s to ensure that funding is used correctly.

“You know, America has always been innovative, and when you think about how far technology has come from the industrial revolution to today, it’s no surprise that we seem to be accelerating faster and faster in the innovations,” Higdon said. “Electric vehicles are one of the many technologies that we are going to have to adapt to.

In addition to federal funding, the General Assembly set aside $17 million in matching funds during its session earlier this year.

The state’s plan has four phases, with the first two expected to cost around $37 million. These phases will include building state infrastructure along the state’s busiest highways.

“Phase one is to install a battery charging station every 50 miles on every highway and freeway in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear explained after groundbreaking Aug. 30 for the AESC Battery Plant in Kentucky. Envision at Bowling Green. “Secondly, we are growing through a competitive grants program to tourism destinations and towns. We will look at our own fleet and save here in the Commonwealth. So we’re looking for a sturdy building that’s going to be really exciting.

The focus on building infrastructure comes as companies plan to invest billions to make Kentucky a hub for electric vehicle batteries. Envision AESC plans to create up to 2,000 jobs. BlueOvalSK, a partnership between Ford and SK Innovation, plans a $5.8 billion facility in Glendale that will employ up to 5,000 people.

Additionally, several suppliers to both facilities have announced plans to build factories in Kentucky, and Beshear said it expects dozens more to be announced in the coming years.

As the state expects more electric vehicles to hit the streets, Kentucky lawmakers have created new revenue streams to help recoup what should be lost in fuel taxes. This includes a $120 annual ownership fee for electric vehicles and a $60 annual fee for electric motorcycles and hybrid vehicles. Lawmakers also established a 3 cents per kilowatt excise tax on charging stations and doubled charges for stations on state property.

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