LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Amid the national push to put more electric vehicles on the road, Kentucky is looking ahead to lay the groundwork for what’s to come.

Kentucky is set to receive $69,000,000 from the federal government over the next 5 years as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program. The purpose is to build out more EV charging stations nationwide, so they’re just as conveniently located as a stop for gas. 

“We can roll these out this fall and hope to have the first stations come online next spring,” John Moore told lawmakers Tuesday.

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Moore is the Assistant State Highway Engineer for Project Development for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Members of the Transportation Committee met Friday to hear a detailed presentation of the state’s rollout plan.

One of the main issues the charger rollout intends to solve is the current challenge for EV owners to go on long-distance travel.  

“The goal of Kentucky’s EV plan is to facilitate access EV access to every corner of the state,” Moore said.

Kentucky is one of many states joining in the federal NEVI program to create “alternative fuel corridors.” Once the state’s plan is approved the first 2 years of funding will become available. Moore said it’s more than $20,000,000.

“I’m sure you’re all asking where will these be deployed? Well, we don’t know yet,” Moore said.

The plan is still in its infancy, and Moore said the construction timeline could also be affected by supply chain issues, inflation, and competition from other states also racing to build their own charging stations.

“One of the benefits of being so late to the game, like most things in Kentucky, we get to learn from other states’ mistakes, and we’ve watched some of the monopolies that happen in other places,” Sen. David Yates (D-Louisville) said.

Kentucky hopes to avoid that problem by contracting public private partnerships for the charging stations. With the program requiring them every 50 miles, there are likely to be plenty of available opportunities for interested stakeholders.

“Looking at the parkways and freeways across Kentucky is that realistic to have a charging station less than every 50 miles,” Rep. Samara Heavrin (R-Leitchfield) asked.

“We’ve looked at it, it’s not unreasonable,” Moore responded.

There are some things that still have to be considered, such as how much it will cost drivers to use the stations and long-term concerns like a possible added strain on the power grid. The state is expecting federal approval of the rollout plan by September.

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