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The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Transportation signed a memorandum of understanding on December 14 to create a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to build out a national charging network for electric vehicles or EVs.

[In above photo, U.S. Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm (left) and U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg ride in an EV at the joint office press event in Washington D.C. Photo by the USDOT.]

In a statement, those two federal agencies said their new joint office aims to provide technical assistance to states and localities so they can build charging stations and other EV-support infrastructure.

Photo by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

That assistance includes helping states develop comprehensive funding plans for charging station networks – drawing on the $7.5 billion specifically set aside in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA to promote EV investments.

That new joint office will also use the Biden administration’s Justice40 Initiative to help guide those EV investments: an initiative that requires delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to “underserved communities.”

That includes supporting career training and certification programs to strengthen career pathways for Americans and create good-paying “clean transportation” jobs to support the build out of that infrastructure, the two agencies said.

The joint agreement also tasks both agencies with implementing investments in zero-emission passenger vehicles, transit, and heavy-duty vehicles that create cleaner and more affordable transportation options for all Americans.

Those investments support President Biden’s executive order in August that seeks to ensure half of all new vehicles sold in the United States by 2030 are electric.

editor@aashto.org

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