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Puerto Rico included in federal electric vehicle infrastructure program

Puerto Rico has been included in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s “Alternative Fuel Corridor” designations, for which it will be eligible for funds to develop an electric vehicle charging network.

In a brief message, Gov. Pedro Pierluisi confirmed “this marks the beginning of the investment of federal funds for centers on PR-2, PR-22, and PR-52.”

Earlier this year, the federal agency announced the start of the five-year National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, to develop the network. Puerto Rico was allocated a little more than $2 million in Fiscal 2022, which it will access after its plans are approved.

“Whether you drive an electric sedan or an electric pickup truck, or any other EV that saves you money at the pump, you need to be able to count on finding chargers along the road as easily as a gas station,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“We’re pleased to announce the latest round of Alternative Fuel Corridor designations, which will accelerate deployment of an EV charging network that covers every part of our country,” he said.

With the funding, the federal government seeks to jumpstart the construction of a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers by 2030. As part of that, the agency is requiring a series of minimum standards to “ensure a unified network of chargers with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more.”

“These Alternative Fuel Corridor designations will bring EV charging stations to more locations nationwide,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “Having a national EV charging network is key to our transition to electric and alternative fuel vehicles, which in turn will save drivers money and reduce emissions that worsen climate change.”

In Puerto Rico, the use of electric vehicles has been growing, while charging stations have also proliferated, but apparently not at the same speed. According to rough estimates, there are fewer than 20 charging stations across the island.

Tesla has three of those — two in Guaynabo and another in Aguadilla — where charging fees hovered at 42 cents per kWh last week.

Electric vehicle owners have consistently noted that more stations are needed islandwide.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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