Infrastructure News

New Mexico, feds invest in electric vehicle infrastructure

A car charges at a station in Nob Hill. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

As demand for hybrid and electric vehicles heats up in New Mexico and across the country, the race to build out charging station infrastructure is on.

The Biden administration recently adopted standards that would place fast-charging stations for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids every 50 miles.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which passed in November of 2021, sets aside $7.5 billion for charging infrastructure. By 2030, the administration is hoping to have 500,000 charging stations across the country.

New Mexico Department of Transportation expects that the state will receive $38 million for charging infrastructure, and in July, the state submitted the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure plan to the federal government. The plan promises that electric vehicle chargers will be located every 50 miles on New Mexico interstates – ideally by 2024.

A state appropriations bill approved in 2021 set aside $10 million of New Mexico’s unused federal COVID-19 fiscal recovery funds to be put toward building fast-charging stations around the state.

Currently, the state has 516 chargers total, according to NMDOT. There are three different types of charging stations: Level 1 chargers, Level 2 chargers, and direct current fast-charging stations. The types vary in charging speed, with level 1 charging the slowest and DC fast charging stations charging the fastest.

A vast majority of the charging stations in New Mexico are Level 2 chargers. Currently, just over a quarter are DC fast-charging stations. NMDOT is currently installing publicly available charging stations around statewide DOT facilities, according to a NMDOT spokesperson.

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