(The Center Square) – Democratic Congressmen and Senators from New Mexico are happy that nearly $68 million in competitive federal grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program will go towards building new electric vehicle (EV) charging networks throughout New Mexico.
“Made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I’m proud to welcome this investment from the Department of Transportation to build more electric vehicle charging stations across our state. These charging stations will benefit New Mexicans and travelers alike while reducing harmful emissions,” Sen. Ben Ray Lujan said. “Critically, I’m glad this funding will also further innovation by building new, robust charging hubs in New Mexico as part of our country’s first network of high-powered charging centers across I-10.” Sen. Martin Heinrich expressed a similar sentiment.“I am thrilled that New Mexico is receiving such a substantial share of the investment from the first round of competitive EV charging grants in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” Heinrich said. “From passenger sedans to school buses and delivery trucks, today’s EVs are market-ready right now. If we want to meet our ambitious climate goals and deploy these clean and zero-emission vehicles at scale, we need to build much more EV charging infrastructure in our communities and along our major highways. This grant is a crucial step to get that done.” The news comes as the venerable consumer magazine, Consumer Reports, finds that electric cars have 80% more problems than similar gas-powered cars and as Tesla admitted that the range of its vehicles was significantly less than advertised and certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also said the funding helps back jobs throughout the country.“America led the arrival of the automotive era, and now we have a chance to lead the world in the EV revolution—securing jobs, savings, and benefits for Americans in the process,” Buttigieg said. “This funding will help ensure that EV chargers are accessible, reliable, and convenient for American drivers while creating jobs in charger manufacturing, installation, and maintenance for American workers.” The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued three separate grants to the state.The biggest one is $63.8 million to the New Mexico Department of Transportation for 2 TeraWatt Charging Centers for Commercial Electric Trucks along I-10 in Hidalgo and Doña Ana Counties.Additionally, Santa Fe County will receive $3.3 million for its Community EV Charging Project.”The County of Santa Fe will receive $3.3 million to build an EV charging network of 33 fast chargers and Level 2 charging stations at 13 sites that include underserved communities, multi-family affordable housing, and county transportation hubs,” a release said.Plus, the town of Taos will get $500,000 for six publicly available EV chargers.”The Town of Taos will receive $500,000 to install the first six publicly available fast EV chargers in the parking lots of three community buildings open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” a release said. “One of the locations will be the Taos Visitor Center, which serves Taos Pueblo, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.”