In 2021, the Federal Highway Administration was given $7.5 billion to construct 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2030. But only eight have been built as of May 2024. 

During an exchange with CBS’s Face the Nation host Margaret Brennan, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg failed to explain this underwhelming result:

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Federal Highway Administration says only seven or eight charging stations have been produced with the $7.5 billion investment that taxpayers made back in 2021. Why isn’t that happening more quickly?

SECRETARY BUTTIGIEG: So the President’s goal is to have half a million chargers up by the end of this decade. Now, in order to do a charger, it’s more than just plunking a- a small device into the ground, there’s utility work, and this is also, really, a new category of federal investment. But we’ve been working with each of the 50 states, every one of them is getting formula dollars to do this work– 

BRENNAN: Seven or eight, though? 

SECRETARY BUTTIGIEG: –Engaging them and the first handful- again, by 2030, 500,000 chargers. And the very first handful of chargers are now already being physically built. But again, that’s the absolute very, very beginning stages of the construction to come.

BRENNAN: Right. But- but that gets to the point about not being able to make long distance travel possible quickly, if you don’t have the infrastructure there to support it.

The $7.5 billion grant originates from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in November 2021. $5 billion of that $7.5B reportedly was awarded to “states as ‘formula funding’ for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.”

In November 2023, POLITICO reported that zero charging stations had been built. In March 2024, it was reported that a mere seven charging stations across four states had gone online.

The Biden administration has repeatedly said that “public investment” in EV charging stations will inspire more Americans to buy electric vehicles. But that’s not true. 

There are already 183,000 privately-run EV stations currently operating in the U.S. The majority, over 140,000, are Level 2 charging stations that take 4-10 hours to achieve an 80% charge in battery electric vehicles (BEV) and 1-2 hours to achieve an 80% charge in plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). Their availability hasn’t compelled the majority of Americans to make the switch to electric cars. 

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported EV and hybrid vehicle sales decreased during Quarter 1 2024—the first decline observed since 2020. Automatic industry experts affirm this. The slowdown started in early 2024, which prompted CNBC to declare EV euphoria “dead” in March of this year. 

Why the EV slowdown here in the U.S.? Americans aren’t warming up to these cars, especially against the backdrop of the EPA’s mandate to force 67% of new cars sold in the U.S. to be EVs by 2032.

In fact, Americans are resistant to EV car mandates and having these vehicles, with their many unknowns and questionable environmental footprint, forced on them. An April 2024 Gallup poll found only 44% of U.S. adults are either “seriously considering or might consider buying an EV in the future”—down 11% from 2023 when support hovered at 55%. 

Much to the chagrin of Secretary Buttigieg and the Biden administration, the American public is skeptical of the government-mandated transition to EVs. Spending more federal dollars won’t boost consumer confidence either. It must pump the breaks and reverse course here.