Louisiana will receive around $75 million for EV infrastructure, the Office of the Governor announced in February. The Office of the Governor noted that under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), Louisiana will receive around $75 million over the next five years for this EV infrastructure. $14.1 million of that will be allocated this fiscal year.
In Louisiana, we will get $75 million for electric vehicle infrastructure. This is not only good for our economy, it’s good for our long term climate goals. #SOTU https://t.co/CrTd3I1Hq7 https://t.co/T55HrYyAGm
— Christina Stephens (@CEStephens) March 2, 2022
Governor Edwards pointed out that the investment was a step in the right direction to help our state achieve its climate goals.
“This investment is a step in the right direction to help Louisiana achieve its climate goals of becoming net-zero by 2050, and I am thankful to Sen. Bill Cassidy and Congressman Troy Carter for their work in making this a reality.
“We have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit the impacts of climate change, which harms the state’s natural resources. One of the biggest changes in a low-carbon future will be seen in the way we travel. By making electric vehicles affordable to the daily commuter, and having the infrastructure to accommodate this, Louisiana can transition to using more renewable energy sources. These changes won’t come overnight, but this investment will help us in our efforts to reach these goals.”
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson also gave a statement sharing the goals of having Louisiana step up as a competitor in EVs and converting the allocation of gas station assets into fuel stations that include EV charging.
“We aim to have Louisiana become a competitor in EVs, and in doing so want to convert the appropriate allocation of ‘gas’ station assets into ‘fuel’ stations where a wide variety of fuels are available, electricity for recharging EV batteries being one of them.
“Once again, I’d like to thank Sen. Bill Cassidy and Congressman Troy Carter for their support of the IIJA bipartisan bill which will help the state move infrastructure projects forward.”
The Louisiana DOTD plans to develop the grant programs and solicit applications over the next year. In the second year, it will make awards, monitor and inspect installations, and identify and correct weaknesses in the programs for future use in rounds of both solicitations and awards.
During the State of the Union address, President Biden said:
“We’ll build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, begin to replace poisonous lead pipes—so every child—and every American—has clean water to drink at home and at school, provide affordable high-speed internet for every American—urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities.
“4,000 projects have already been announced.
“And tonight, I’m announcing that this year we will start fixing over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges in disrepair.
“When we use taxpayer dollars to rebuild America – we are going to Buy American: buy American products to support American jobs.”
On The Front Lines Of Climate Change
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — Louisiana is on the front lines of climate change. Climate change has many contributors, including tailpipe emissions coming from gas and diesel vehicles. Electric vehicles are solving that problem and one of the key issues with EV adoption is lack of charging. Aside from Tesla’s Supercharging network, which the company has expanded over the past couple of years and which is seamless for Tesla drivers to use, there are still a lot of issues with other charging.
Yes, there are options such as ChargePoint, Electrify America, EVgo, and such but I’ve heard complaints about these being limited, broken and not working, or hard to locate. Most of those complaints don’t originate here in Louisiana, but I’ve spoken with many people during my day-to-day life here and the majority don’t want to make the switch due to the lack of EV charging infrastructure, the cost of EVs (they are thinking of Tesla Roadster or Model S/X prices), and range anxiety.
The $75 million that will help our state develop EV infrastructure will help ease the worries of many Louisianians who want an EV but are afraid of being stranded on the highway. It’s also refreshing to see Louisiana, a top oil and gas producing state in the US, embrace EVs and want to have progress in this respect. However, we don’t have much of a choice. I live almost 2–3 hours from the coast, and even though that’s pretty far inland, we are still impacted by hurricanes way up here in the Red Stick. Hurricanes and winter storms have gotten increasingly worse over the past few years. In 2020, residents living along the coast had to plan at least 7 times to evacuate. We had five major storms and three of them hit our state, including Laura, which devastated Lake Charles and the southwestern portions of the state.
It may be too late to stop climate change from happening, but that $75 million going toward EV infrastructure will help by encouraging residents to switch to electric. And this will lessen the pollution from ICE cars.