Funds available for electric car charging stations

DES MOINES — Funds from the federal settlement with Volkswagen will help boost the number of chargers for electric vehicles across the state.

The DOT’s Debra Arp says they have one-point-one million dollars to help install two types of chargers. “The predominate being for the direct current D-C fast-charge corridor sites,” Arp says. “We are focusing on the I-35 and I-80 corridors. And we want to see basically about 50-mile spacing at a minimum on those corridors to further build out that grid.”

She says $900,000 will go to the D-C chargers and the remaining money will go to what’s called “level two” community chargers. She says those are the type of chargers you see at service establishments or government facilities that are for day-to-day charging.

Arp says program is available to a wide variety of applicants including for-profit businesses, incorporated non-profit organizations, government agencies of all types, and metropolitan or regional transportation planning organizations. “This funding is not for fleets — it’s got to be publicly accessible — so it’s to enable the public charging infrastructure. So anybody could come in and charge their vehicle,” Arp says.

Arp says they want people with electric cars to be able to use them without worry about finding a place to charge up. “You need the kinds of charges that can quickly charge a full battery and enable the longer distance travel — but you also want chargers out there that are going to facilitate topping off the battery when you are running around and doing errands,” according to Arp. “So there’s kind of two different levels and we are trying to support both of those.”

You can learn more about the funding and how to apply at the program website: There’s a second program that is using some of the settlement money to give grants for the replacement of diesel engines.