Democratic senator hammers Biden official on EV charging stations: ‘Pathetic’

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) criticized the Biden administration Wednesday for not deploying electric vehicle (EV) chargers quickly enough.

“Dozens” but fewer than 100 electric vehicle charging points funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law have been deployed, Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt told Merkley during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing.

“That’s just pathetic,” Merkley responded, noting that 2021’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was supposed to further President Biden’s goal of reaching 500,000 chargers by the end of the decade.

He added that not a single federally funded charger was deployed in his home state of Oregon.

“I share your frustration around the speed of the deployment,” Bhatt replied. He noted there were challenges that came with working with states to get the chargers deployed. He added that thousands of chargers are expected to come online this year.

A lack of charging infrastructure is seen as one major hurdle in greater adoption of electric vehicles, as consumers may not want to wait in long lines and might fear running out of power on a long drive.

The Biden administration and many Democrats broadly have championed electric vehicle adoption as a key tool in the fight against climate change.

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