Gov. Wolf announces state commitment to clean transportation

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Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday that the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Environmental Protection (DEP) would work with partner organizations to move forward on plans to maximize federal funds supporting electric vehicles.

With Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities, Sheet, and PPL, the state will use more than $170 million in federal funds to support electric vehicle charging station infrastructure.

“Transportation is changing every day,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has given us a great opportunity, and I’m proud of the progress that we – along with our partners – have made to prepare Pennsylvania for a future filled with electric vehicles.”

As part of the funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure law, PennDOT will receive and distribute $171.5 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula funds for EV charging infrastructure over the next five years. Another $2.5 billion is available in discretionary grant funding, the state said, although it wasn’t clear how much the state would be applying for.

Pennsylvania has more than 31,000 EVs on the roads, nearly triple the number registered in March 2019.

“Pennsylvania has made tremendous progress towards making electric vehicles and EV chargers more accessible to more people,” said DEP Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Joe Adams. “Every EV on the road reduces the amount of air pollution coming from tailpipes, which makes for cleaner air and a healthier environment.”

All states are required to submit their individual EV infrastructure deployment plans to the U.S. Department of Transportation by Aug. 1, 2022. PennDOT said the state’s plan has already been submitted and outlines the department’s approach to installing an EV charging network that will support Pennsylvanian EV users, as well as visitors to the state.

“The transportation sector produces the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.,” said Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities executive director Rick Price. “Considering many of these emissions are sourced from passenger-duty vehicles, driving electric is one of the best ways to combat this issue. This NEVI funding will help Pennsylvanians to drive electric cars almost anywhere in the state.”