The Transportation and Energy departments  plan to distribute $5 billion to states for the construction of electric vehicle charging stations over the next five years, officials said Thursday.

The funding for the National Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program will come out of the $7.5 billion allocated to electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the bipartisan infrastructure law that was passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden last fall.

According to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, the $5 billion in funding will be used to build charging stations along major highways and transportation corridors and will create up to 500,000 charging ports.

A second grant program, which will be announced later this year, will go toward creating electric vehicle charging stations in states, communities, and reservations that currently have few charging stations. 

"We want to make sure that every community has the ability to not just have a vehicle, but charge it as well," Granholm said.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg told reporters he believes the funding will provide "enormous benefits" to rural Americans. He said that electric vehicles are often cheaper to maintain and fuel than their gas-powered counterparts.

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"The reality is nobody benefits more from EVs, in principle, than those who drive the longest distances, which is often our rural Americans," he said. "They stand to save the most money on gas and maintenance provided we support rural communities and do not leave them behind in the EV race."

According to the Department of Transportation, Texas has been allocated over $400 million in funding, the most for any state. California and Florida follow, with allocations of more than $380 million and about $198 million, respectively. 

In order to receive the funding, each state will need to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Fund to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation by August 1. 

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