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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Tony Evers Signs New Maps 4

Evers signs legislation bolstering Wisconsin’s electric vehicle infrastructure

The legislation aims to improve Wisconsin electric vehicle charging stations and ensure charging is quicker.

Gov. Tony Evers signed legislation Wednesday to expand and support Wisconsin’s electric vehicle infrastructure through federal funding. 

Evers’ approval of Wisconsin Act 121 and Act 122 enables the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to receive and administer more than $78 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure available for Wisconsin over the next five years.

The funding come from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which President Joe Biden signed in November. 

“We don’t have to choose between protecting our environment and natural resources or creating good-paying jobs and infrastructure to meet the needs of a 21st-Century economy — in Wisconsin, we’re doing both,” Evers said in a press release.

Act 121 will allow businesses to offer electric vehicle chargers that sell electricity by the kilowatt hour to charge more efficiently. 

Meanwhile, Act 122 enables WisDOT to receive and administer the funds through a new EV infrastructure program. The department plans to award much of the funding to businesses building EV chargers near major highways, according to the governor’s office.

Evers in his 2023-25 biennial budget proposal sought to expand transportation alternatives in small communities by building out electric vehicle infrastructure and re-engineering roads to improve safety. Republicans rejected these provisions. 

A March 2023 study released by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, revealed Wisconsin could become a major stakeholder in electric vehicle manufacturing. For example, Electric vehicle charging station manufacturer Ingeteam announced an expansion of its Milwaukee plant in May 2023, creating 100 new jobs. 

“WisDOT is ready to activate the federal funding and help industry quickly build fast chargers across the state. Electric vehicle drivers in Wisconsin will soon be able to travel about 85 percent of our state highway system and never be more than 25 miles away from a charger,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said in the press release. 

Both acts build on Evers’ previous climate work. Past initiatives include establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change, prioritizing hybrid-electric vehicles, electric vehicles and related infrastructure, as well as releasing the state’s first Clean Energy Plan.

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Ava Menkes

Ava Menkes is the state news editor at The Daily Cardinal. She has covered multiple stories about Wisconsin politics and written in-depth about nurses unions and youth voter turnout. Follow her on Twitter at @AvaMenkes.

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