Saturday, July 13, 2024

Business group criticizes Mississippi’s rollout of EV charger program

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As America becomes greener, a business coalition is aiming at Mississippi to do the same.

The National Electric Vehicle Instructure (NEVI) program authorized the federal government to distribute $5 billion to states to provide grant funding for businesses wanting to offer EV charging. According to the Charge Ahead Partnership, Mississippi has not released an application for electric vehicle charging operators to access millions of dollars in NEVI funding.

NEVI funding assists with the start-up costs for buying and installing high-speed EV chargers at strategic locations along each state’s major highways. The federal government has approved Mississippi’s NEVI plan. However, the state is one of just 16 that has still not issued an application for EV charging providers hoping to receive a NEVI grant.

While other states are celebrating the opening of the first NEVI chargers, the business coalition criticizes how Mississippi businesses still cannot apply to participate in this program. According to Jay Smith, Charge Ahead Partnership executive director, it is a huge missed opportunity for the state.  

“The gas stations and travel plazas that line Mississippi’s interstates are natural spots for EV charging stations, if only these businesses could access this grant funding to help with the initial costs of offering this service,” Smith said.

Mississippi will receive $50.5 million over five years through the NEVI program, according to the Charge Ahead Partnership. Most funds deployed by other states have gone to private enterprises, allowing small businesses and national chains to add EV charging to the services they provide to customers.

Smith argues that the sluggish deployment of the NEVI program in Mississippi is bad for business and consumer’s wallets.  

“We urge the state to get moving on opening up an application so that NEVI can get started in Mississippi,” Smith said.

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