News & Media
Today I would like to talk about how we are expanding opportunities for electric vehicle industries in our state.
First, to make driving electric vehicles in Arkansas a possibility for many, the infrastructure must be there to support it. We are working hard to make that happen.
Recently, Arkansas was approved to receive $54 million dollars in federal grants over the next five years, which will be used to work with partners in the installation of accessible charging stations throughout the state. The deployment of the charging stations will be led by the Arkansas Department of Transportation in coordination with my Department of Energy and Environment.
The goal is to have as many charging stations around the state as we can. Step one includes locating stations at every 50 miles along the most used Arkansas interstates. Step two is to build out infrastructure in rural areas. Anyone in Arkansas who wants to drive electric vehicles should have no worries about the availability of charging stations, no matter where they live within the state.
In addition to the $54 million plan, we are also receiving funding assistance for the installation of 150-kW DC fast charging stations, which can charge electric vehicles in as little as 30 minutes. And we also plan to provide rebates for the installation of Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations, which can fully charge electric vehicles in eight hours or less. Both programs are possible thanks to the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund, and they are moving quickly to establish EV charging in key locations throughout the state.
In Arkansas, we have been working to make our state a leader in using advanced energy technologies. With the creation of teams like the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility, and our focus on innovative technologies, Arkansas is uniquely positioned to be a leader in the electric vehicle industry.
Improving the electric vehicle infrastructure will benefit Arkansans, but it will also benefit many out-of-state travelers and our tourism economy. When people plan to visit, they will have confidence that Arkansas can accommodate their charging needs.
This week is a time many states have established as Electric Vehicle Week. It is a week meant to provide education and spread awareness about the benefits of electric vehicles to our country. I have joined in and proclaimed this time as National Drive Electric Week in Arkansas.
EV charging infrastructure has been a key priority of mine for several years, and I want it to remain a priority well into the future. Arkansas has the potential to develop the best infrastructure in the region and continue leading the nation in advanced technology.