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New federal program may provide Iowa $51 million to improve electric vehicle infrastructure

In order to receive roughly $51 million in federal dollars, IDOT had to propose how it would use the funding to improve electric vehicle infrastructure.

DES MOINES, Iowa — A new federal program is providing more than $51 million to the state of Iowa to create an electric vehicle charging network.

The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy said building out the country's charging network is important to making those vehicles accessible to all Americans. 

The money will come from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program which was created under President Joe Biden's infrastructure law

The program will provide more than $5 billion over five years to states to create charging stations along "alternative fuel corridors." The Department of Transportation said those corridors are mainly along interstates. 

"Initially we're focused on Interstate 29, Interstate 35, Interstate 80 and Interstate 380," said IDOT Transportation Development Director Stu Anderson. 

IDOT is required to submit a proposal to the federal government by Aug. 1 in order to secure this funding. Once the plan is submitted, the federal government will have until the end of September to approve the plan or make some recommended changes. 

Anderson says drivers could expect more charging stations surrounding metros like Des Moines, Council Bluffs and the Quad Cities. The stations are required to be built within a mile of the interstate, and would likely be placed at gas stations, convenience stores and hotel parking lots. Federal regulations state they cannot be placed at rest stops. 

Ultimately, the goal is to increase the infrastructure for travelers going long distances. 

"That's one of the big concerns we hear from the public is having that range anxiety," said Anderson. "Where they have that confidence that they have access to a charging infrastructure that's going to be open and operational, and available for them to charge."

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