According to a press release by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), it has put out a draft plan for the state’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, which will install electric vehicle charging stations across the country.
Wyoming has been allocated almost $24 million over five years from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed in November 2021, for charging stations along Interstate 25, 80, and 90.
While NEVI requires that charging stations be placed every 50 miles and a maximum of one mile from an exit, Wyoming is seeking an exemption to that requirement.
Luke Reiner, director of WYDOT, said that the idea for exemptions came from public feedback at meetings they held in April, which highlighted that some distances would be greater than 50 miles, but would make more sense regarding where certain cities are positioned across the state.
Specifically, Reiner pointed to the distance between Buffalo and Gillette, two cities that are over 60 miles apart, where it would make more sense to install charging stations closer in the cities, rather than out on the highway.
The draft also highlights the lack of electric vehicles in Wyoming, as there are only 500 registered vehicles in the state, and account for 1.73% of traffic on the three main highways in the state.
Reiner said in the release:
“We think this is a common-sense approach to bringing this infrastructure to Wyoming,” Reiner said. “We want any traveler, local or tourist, to be able to drive in our great state without worrying about whether the infrastructure is in place to support the type of vehicle they choose to drive.”
Exact locations for charging infrastructure will be determined via a formal request for the proposal process, and Reiner said that the process will probably take until next year before any construction begins.
The state is not involved in constructing, operating, or maintaining the charging stations, as they will instead be run by local entities who can choose whether or not to construct the stations, which cost around $750,000 per four-port 150-kilowatt charging station.
Some stations may go up to 350 kilowatts, which according to WYDOT, costs between $800,000 and $1.6 million.
Kaeci Daniels of the Wyoming Energy Authority said in the release:
“The Wyoming Energy Authority’s objective is to promote and expand the Wyoming all-of-the-above energy economy,” Daniels said. “Successful execution of the NEVI Plan will offer more opportunities to use our existing energy infrastructure, create room for energy investment through boosted demand, and provide an arena to test innovative and emerging energy technologies.”
Public comments on the draft will be accepted until July 27, with the final draft submitted to the Federal Joint Office for approval by Aug 1.
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