Buttigieg Faces Heat Over Slow Rollout of EV Charging Stations Under $7.5 Billion Initiative

 Buttigieg Faces Heat Over Slow Rollout of EV Charging Stations Under $7.5 Billion Initiative

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has come under fire on social media for the sluggish deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, despite a substantial $7.5 billion federal investment aimed at bolstering the nation’s EV infrastructure. This funding was part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021, which allocated a total of $5 billion to the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, specifically targeting the creation of chargers along key highways, as per Newsweek

The Biden administration’s ambitious plan aims to install half a million chargers by the end of the decade, yet the progress has been markedly slow. During an interview on CBS News‘ “Face the Nation” on May 26, Buttigieg was pressed by host Margaret Brennan about the Federal Highway Administration’s report that only “seven or eight charging stations” have been produced since the law’s enactment. Buttigieg responded, “So the president’s goal is to have half a million chargers up by the end of this decade.”

He further explained the complexities involved in installing these stations, noting that it entails more than simply placing a device into the ground due to necessary utility work. “This is also a new category of federal investment,” Buttigieg added. “But we’ve been working with each of the 50 states, every one of them is getting formula dollars to do this work. Again, by 2030, 500,000 chargers. And the very first handful of chargers are now already being physically built. But again, that’s the absolute very, very beginning stages of the construction to come.”

Despite this explanation, Buttigieg’s comments have sparked ridicule and criticism from various quarters, including Simon Ateba, Chief White House correspondent at Today News Africa, who called it a “massive failure” by the Biden administration. Ateba expressed his concern on the X platform, writing, “BREAKING- MASSIVE FAILURE BY BIDEN — Only 7 EV charging stations produced in 3 years instead of 50,000 per year to meet the goal.”

The Republican National Committee (RNC) also took to social media to highlight Buttigieg’s difficulties in justifying the slow progress, posting, “Pete Buttigieg has a VERY tough time trying to explain why ‘only 7 or 8 [electric vehicle] charging stations have been produced with the $7.5 BILLION investment that taxpayers made back in 2021.'”

As criticism mounts, the pace of building out the nation’s EV charging infrastructure continues to be a point of contention and scrutiny among politicians, stakeholders, and the public. The unfolding debate underscores the challenges of translating federal funding into tangible infrastructure developments, particularly in new and rapidly evolving sectors like electric vehicles.

Related post