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Kentucky to receive almost $70 million for electric vehicle charging network

Federal funding for the first two years of the program will be provided to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) over the next few months.
Credit: Michael Flippo - stock.adobe.com

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky will receive almost $70 million to develop an electric vehicle charging network statewide.

The state has previously attracted more than $9 billion of investments from electric vehicle battery makers and automotive suppliers. 

Governor Andy Beshear announced on Sept. 15 that Kentucky has received the federal approval for the project.  

Officials said the plan was submitted to the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation in late July and, now that it's approved, it's securing federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program funds. 

Federal funding for the first two years of the program will be provided to Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) over the next few months. Officials said with matching funds, a total of $86.9 million will be available for EV charging infrastructure over the next five years.

“Our goal is to have a statewide network of EV chargers by 2025,” Jim Gray, KYTC secretary, said. “Approval of our EV plan by the federal government now ensures Kentucky will receive $25 million in federal funds this year to begin to design and build that network, starting with our interstates and parkways.”

In July, officials said the Federal Highway Administration approved Kentucky’s plan for Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). As part of that plan, all of Kentucky’s 11 interstates and eight parkways are now designated as EV AFCs.

Officials said initial NEVI funding must be spent to build the direct current fast-charging (DCFS) stations that can fully charge a battery in 30 minutes or less at interchanges along interstates and parkways. 

The charging stations must be located no more than 50 miles apart along the AFC, not more than one mile off the AFC, must each have four ports at 150-kilowatt per port per station (600-kilowatt total) and must not be proprietary (stations limited to specific vehicles). 

Kentucky already has identified other priority highways on which charger access will be expanded in future phases to fill connectivity gaps, but specific charging locations will be determined later, officials said.

Local communities and other agencies can apply for competitive grants to fund electric vehicle charging stations later in 2022 or early 2023 after the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued further guidance and a notice of funding opportunity.

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