The U.S. Department of Transportation will award $51.4 million to the Puerto Rican government to install 10 fast charging ports for electric vehicles along a major highway as part of a project to create a network of alternative energy corridors.
These funds will be administered by the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority. It is one of 47 projects that will involve 22 states and will receive a total of $623 million.
Under the Joe Biden administration, sales of electric vehicles have quadrupled and the total number of charging stations available to the public has increased by nearly 70%, according to the Department of Transportation. More than four million electric vehicles are in circulation in the United States and Puerto Rico.
“The United States led the charge into the automobile age, and we now have the opportunity to lead the global electric vehicle revolution while delivering jobs, savings and benefits for Americans.”” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said, noting that the funds will help “make electric vehicle chargers affordable, reliable and convenient for American drivers while creating jobs.”
Puerto Rico’s Treasury Department said this week that a gap in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) language would prevent island residents from accessing a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 toward the purchase of an electric vehicle.
According to Treasury Undersecretary Angel Pantoja, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Treasury Department certified the island’s residents as ineligible in 2023.
The funds announced this Thursday by Secretary Buttigieg will come from the Charging and Fuel Infrastructure (CFi) Discretionary Grant program as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which allocated at least $2.5 billion to Puerto Rico.
“Every community in the country deserves access to clean, convenient and reliable transportation.”said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
The U.S. Department of Energy will recommend a road that would include 10 electric vehicle charging stations that would be designated an Alternative Corridor. The stations will be within a mile of a freeway exit and less than 30 miles apart, according to the Department of Transportation.
“After my work locally, I know that finding electric vehicle charging in a community is not the same as finding charging on highways,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Polly Trottenberg.