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North Dakota getting $26M for electric vehicle fast-charging stations; public input sought on state plan

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Hazel Ulvestad, 9, hops out of the back seat of an electric-powered Tesla with winged doors at the EV Tailgate Party held at the state Capitol in Bismarck on Tuesday. The event was hosted by Capital Electric Cooperative and the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

North Dakota is getting about $26 million in coming years through a federal program that aims to create a network of electric vehicle fast-charging stations around the country.

The state Department of Transportation is asking the public to comment on priorities and preferences as it develops a Statewide Electronic Vehicle Infrastructure Plan.

The plan is a federal requirement to obtain National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program funding through the federal infrastructure bill that Congress passed last fall. The program intends to create a fast-charging network across the nation that eventually is to include 500,000 stations.

North Dakota will get $25.9 million from the program through fiscal year 2026. The first phase of the program in the state is to build chargers no more than 50 miles apart and less than a mile off exits along Interstates 94 and 29, according to DOT.

A self-guided public input meeting is available on the department's website at dot.nd.gov/evplan until July 18. Provided input will be used to identify potential locations and amenities of EV fast-charging stations around North Dakota. For any questions, help, or to request hard copy materials, contact Steve Salwei at ssalwei@nd.gov.

North Dakota has just several hundred electric vehicles and is among the last states in the nation to install fast-charging stations. Momentum has built in recent years to expand charging infrastructure, and a number of cities including Bismarck now have a few stations.

DOT and Capital Electric Cooperative on Tuesday held an "EV Tailgate Party" on the state Capitol grounds for the public to learn more about the vehicles and charging options.

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