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The federal government is helping Mountain West states invest in more charging stations

A sign along a lonely stretch of desert highway reads "Electric Highway" and has an icon of an EV charging station and an arrow pointing off the highway.
Courtesy NDOT
The federal government is working to build out a national electric vehicle charging infrastructure, allocating $7 billion toward state efforts. The Nevada Department of Transportation is in the midst of a five-year plan to expand the number of charging stations in the state.

“Range anxiety” keeps many people from making the switch to electric vehicles. The federal government has been working with states to build out an EV charging infrastructure, doling out more than $7 billion to support state efforts.

Nevada Department of Transportation spokesperson Kandee Bahr Worley said the goal is to have a “fully built out” national system.

"(It) would mean we have four stations with 600 kilowatts, every 50 miles," Worley said. "That is our goal."

The Alternative Fuels Data Center, a part of the U.S. Department of Energy, tracks data on things such as electric vehicle registration and the number of stations available that provide alternative fuels, and the number of charging stations available.

According to 2022 data, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada lead the way in number of electric vehicles registered in the Mountain West. But that doesn't necessarily mean those states have most charging stations or available ports

The Nevada Department of Transportation is in the midst of a five-year plan to expand the number of EV charging stations. Worley said specific locations have been identified, and those locations meet requirements such as being within one mile from a highway exit.

“We’re not just putting them on an empty corner somewhere," she said. "We want people that are charging their cars to have the availability to access food or restrooms or other places of interest.”

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Yvette Fernandez is the regional reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau. She joined Nevada Public Radio in September 2021.