October 21, 2021
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The Kansas Department of Transportation recently issued a request for information or RFI in advance of a request for proposals to install electric vehicle charging (EV) stations along the most traveled state highways.

[Above photo of an EV charging station by the City of Olathe, KS]

Through this RFI, the Kansas DOT said it seeks to receive input from “industry stakeholders and potential applicants” to help develop program criteria for awarding funding toward the installation of EV charging equipment to ensure “continuity of travel” across the state for travelers and commerce alike.

The agency added that it already has identified approximately 12 preliminary locations for the installation of Direct Current Fast Charging stations producing 50 kilowatts or more of power to improve public access to charging stations every 50 miles along primary corridors. Funding their installation would come from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust, which made approximately $2 million available to Kansas for EV charging infrastructure needs.

Julie Lorenz. Photo by the Kansas DOT.

“We want to work in partnership with the private sector to expand EV charging stations,” noted Kansas DOT Secretary Julie Lorenz in a statement. “This RFI is the first step in that process.”

This effort by the agency reflects the impetus of an executive order issued by President Biden on August 5 for 50 percent of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in 2030 be zero-emission vehicles, which includes battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell electric vehicles.

That dovetails with a plan also initiated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency on August 5 to mandate an 8 percent annual increase in fuel efficiency for passenger cars and light trucks between model year 2024 and 2026.

Shoshana Lew, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation, recently offered some state-level perspective on how to manage this transition to EVs – noting in a recent Environmental Technical Assistance Program or ETAP Podcast that state DOTs will play a “critical role” in helping electrify the nation’s transportation system.

Also, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the National Association of State Energy Officials along with other organizations is sponsoring a free one-day virtual summit regarding the installation of EV charging infrastructure nationwide on September 22. Click here for more information.

editor@aashto.org

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