The Delaware Department of Transportation is now accepting bids for the construction, operation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging stations along Route 13, Route 113, Route 1 and Interstate 95.
The new direct-current charging stations must be located within one mile of these roads with no more than 50 miles between each location, the Deldot press release said.
The state’s primary goal is to ensure that affordable, reliable and consistent electric vehicle charging reaches every Delawarean as these vehicles become more prevalent, a Deldot press release said.
David T. Stevenson, director of the Center for Energy & Environmental Policy, doesn’t think the new stations are needed.
“The US Department of Energy has an Alternate Fuel website that allows a calculation of how many public chargers are needed by state based on how many EVs are in the state,” he said. “Delaware has enough chargers for the few existing in the state.”
There are currently more than 10,000 electric vehicles registered in the state, but many are not private vehicles.
“A free market would build chargers to meet demand of it existed,” Stevenson said. “The current Delaware Administration is determined to shove these expensive vehicles down our throats.”
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is finalizing regulations that will mean that fewer and fewer gas-powered vehicles are available for sale in Delaware, until none are in 2035.
If huge government subsidies disappeared, almost no one would buy an EV, Stevenson said.
“Even with the subsidies nationwide EV on lot inventory is approaching a 100-day supply when normal stocking is about 30 days,” he said “Polls show 60% to 85% of Delawareans do not want gas powered car bans. State policies should follow that obvious public mandate.”
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The state’s request for proposal for the charging station construction notes that the state has successfully administered two DC fast-charging grant programs already using money from the Volkswagen emission scam settlement.
The construction of the new charging stations will be paid for by $17.5 million that Delaware expects to get over five years from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan.
Referred to as NEVI, the plan is part of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is designed to put half a million new charging stations along major travel routes across the country.
Plan for charging stations
Delaware’s overall plan for fast charging stations along highway corridors is to be the first state to accomplish a network of statewide charging stations.
Because Delaware is only 96 miles from the most southern to the most northern point and between nine and 35 miles from east to west, it stands the best chance to be able to meet NEVI guidelines and expectations, the proposal said.
The state has 259 miles of roads that will need charging stations, the proposal says.
Overall, Deldot says in a press release, the goal is to reduce greenhouse emissions, improve air quality and further implement the state Climate Action Plan.
“Building a network of charging stations across the state will help us make electric vehicle usage more accessible,” said Gov. John Carney.
Proposals will be accepted until 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. A pre-bid conference will take place Thursday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. Contracts will last six years.
Bid details are available here.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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