Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Rural Kansas

Kate Smeltzer
Research Analyst

James Fisher
Managing IT Analyst

Electric Vehicle Adoption and Industry Growth

Globally, the automotive industry plans to invest $330 billion in electrification by 2023 and offer up to 130 electrified vehicle models in the United States. Nationally, hybrid vehicle sales in 2021 comprised 5.4 percent of total sales, and Zero Emission Vehicles, such as plug-in hybrids, and fuel cells, represented 4.1 percent.

Historically, successful new technologies, like television, cellphones, and LED light bulbs, were slow to sell until they reached the 5.0 percent adoption rate, at which point adoption began to occur at a much higher rate as demand become unpredictable.

The increasing demand for electric vehicles could also lead to a demand for more charging stations to help power these vehicles and alleviate driver “range anxiety,” as they would be capable of driving further without fear of running out of power for the vehicle.

As of 2022, nearly 6,763 electric/hybrid vehicles are registered in Kansas. This is less than 1.0 percent of vehicles registered in the state. Kansas will play a role in the expansion of charging station infrastructure in order to facilitate interstate travel and commerce.

Charging Station Expansion and Funding

It is estimated that $39.0 billion in investments are needed by 2030 for public charging infrastructure to meet the accompanying demand for electric vehicles in the United States.

As of 2022, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), an association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies, has invested nearly $3.7 billion in programs and projects to accelerate the electronic vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure implementation process. The EEI estimates nearly 140,000 EV fast- charging stations will be needed to accommodate the projected 26 million EVs that are expected to be on U.S. roads by 2030.

In December 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy created a new department called the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Office), which will support and ensure production of electric vehicle charging networks nationwide.

In February 2022, the Office announced that $5.0 billion will be made available for electric vehicle charging under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, which was established in the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act.

As of September 27, 2022, all 50 states including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been approved to move forward with the construction of EV fast-charging stations covering approximately 75,000 miles of highway across the country.

The NEVI Formula funding can also be used for other projects that are directly related to charging of a vehicle, such as:

  • Upgrade of existing and construction of new EV charging infrastructure;
  • Operation and upkeep costs of EV charging stations;
  • Installation of on-site electrical service equipment;
  • Community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Workforce development;
  • EV charging station signage;
  • Data sharing activities; and
  • Mapping analysis.

Kansas EV Charging Programs and Funding

On September 16, 2022, the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Charge Up Kansas NEVI plan was approved and is set to receive $39.5 million over the course of the next five years. This program will include direct current fast chargers as well as EV charging corridors.

In Kansas, the corridors included will reside along I-70, I-35, I-135, U.S. 400 and U.S. 81 from I-70 north to the Nebraska state line.

When completed, approximately 1,600 miles of Kansas interstates and highways will have fast charging stations available for public use.