BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A multi-million dollar plan for electric vehicle infrastructure in Louisiana was approved Wednesday, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Over five years, the state will receive $73,367,735 for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD) to implement its plan to deploy 394 charging stations.

“These funds will allow the state to move forward and provide additional fueling infrastructure to the ever-changing transportation industry,” said DOTD Secretary Shawn D. Wilson, Ph.D. “Louisiana’s EV charging network is relatively low compared to our neighboring states, and we must be able to accommodate the growing shift in the way people travel. Creating a more sustainable and cleaner environment is of the utmost importance, and one way of accommodating this is by having more charging stations and allowing them to be affordable to the everyday motorist.”

After submitting plans by Aug. 1, Louisiana is one of 35 states with plans approved Wednesday. The announcement unlocked $26.5 million in funding for FY22 and FY23 in Louisiana, transportation officials said.

“Today, with funding in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking an important step to build a nationwide electric vehicle charging network where finding a charge is as easy as locating a gas station,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday. “With the first set of approvals we are announcing today, 35 states across the country – with Democratic and Republican governors – will be moving forward to use these funds to install EV chargers at regular, reliable intervals along their highways.” 

In its deployment plan, LADOTD said funds from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program will cover up to 80% of expenses with a minimum of 20% non-federal match covered by grant recipients. LADOTD said the state can reach its carbon emission reduction goals by making charging stations accessible to “drivers and passengers across income levels.”

“This funding will help Louisiana meet our Climate Action Plan goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “It will also ensure that we’re ready to prosper in a changing economy, where even big oil and gas companies are embracing clean energy. I would like to thank President Biden, Senator Bill Cassidy, and Representative Troy Carter for their hard work getting the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed. My administration is ready to put this federal funding to work to improve the lives of the people of our state.”

Louisiana’s electric vehicle plan states it will meet the Federal Highway Administration’s requirements of having charging stations 50 miles apart and within one mile of interstate exits or highway intersections along the corridor.

LADOTD said it will begin to accept grant applications in early 2023 for recipients to own, install, and operate charging stations.

For more information about Louisiana’s electrical vehicle infrastructure plan, click here.