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Oregon EV charging stations will get repairs and upgrades this year, made possible by federal grant

(Update: Adding video, comments from ODOT spokesman)

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With the use of electric vehicles surging in Oregon, drivers are relying more on charging ports while on the road. The state now has millions in federal money to make needed repairs and upgrades.

Electric vehicle drivers throughout Oregon will have a more reliable public charging experience over the next few years, thanks to a federal grant program sending $10 million to Oregon for the public EV charger repairs and station upgrades.

ODOT said recently that the $10 million grant will repair broken EV charging ports at public EV charging stations throughout the state. The funding can also be used to install more Level 2 or DC fast charging ports at project sites.

"We are using public dollars to fund these repairs and upgrades to stations that are privately owned," ODOT Communications Specialist Matt Noble said Wednesday. "However, the companies that do choose to participate in this program do need to contribute 20% matching funds. So they do have some stakes in this as well., from a financial standpoint. "

"Our mission here at the agency is to move people around efficiently and equitably and safely," Noble added. "As more EVs get registered, and more and more folks choose them for their next vehicle, we have an obligation to also serve them as well."

The ODOT Climate Office will oversee the grant fund distribution, according to the agency's Feb. 15 news release, which continues in full below:

Given this is a new federal grant program, we’re still working on the best, most efficient way to distribute the funds and how to engage the private sector. The charging stations are owned by private companies, so we’ll work with them to repair broken charging ports and upgrade stations.

Per federal rules, private companies are required to contribute 20% matching funds in order to receive grant funding.

We expect charging port repair and station upgrade projects to start by the end of 2024. We’ll update you on the timeline later this year via email.

The grant comes from the federal Electric Vehicle Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator program. It’s part of the $5 billion investment in public EV charging nationwide from the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and overseen by the Federal Highway Administration.

ODOT was among 24 grant recipients in 20 states, and one of the 14 state DOTs to receive funding.

Which charging stations will be included

The Federal Highway Administration has identified 135 public EV charging stations in Oregon that have at least one broken EV charging port — either Level 2 or DC fast chargers — that are eligible for repairs or upgrades using grant funds.

We created an online map of those public EV charging stations identified by the FHWA: view the map on Google Maps.

Note: This map is not the final list of charging stations that will receive funds for repairs or upgrades. It’s the pool of potential sites from which the final sites will be selected.

We do not have details yet on the final list of stations, but we’re working on that process now, and we’ll share more information with you later this year via email.

Sign up for email updates about our EV charging infrastructure work.

Repair or upgrade numbers

Here’s more specifics on the potential work to be covered by these funds. These are estimates because private-sector participation and project costs will vary.

  • Level 2 charging ports repaired: Up to 148.
  • New Level 2 charging ports installed: Up to 208.
  • DC fast charging ports repaired: Up to 35.
  • New DC fast charger ports installed: Up to 30.

As of January 2024, there are about 2,900 public EV charging ports in Oregon (Level 2 and DC fast chargers) among 1,160 stations. There are roughly 80,000 registered EVs in Oregon, as of the latest data from September 2023.

EV charger reliability is critical to speed EV growth and foster confidence among EV drivers throughout Oregon. If more people can imagine an EV fitting into their daily lives, then they may consider an EV for their next vehicle purchase.

Spurring the transition to EVs is one of the ways we’re working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in Oregon. By 2050, our data says we’re on track to reduce emissions by about 60% below 1990 levels. Learn how we’ll get there on Oregon’s transportation emissions website.

Article Topic Follows: Environment

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