Updated February 25, 2022 - 5:33 pm
Rep. Susie Lee on Friday touted a provision of the infrastructure law passed last year that will bring millions of dollars worth of electric vehicle charging stations to Nevada.
The infrastructure law, passed on a bipartisan basis and signed by President Joe Biden in November, will provide $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations across the country, Lee said. She called the $5.5 million Nevada will receive for charging stations “just a beginning.”
“We know that there’s $2.5 billion competitive grants as well that we will continue to bring to our state to build out this network,” she said.
Over the next five years, Nevada will receive $38 million in federal funding for electric vehicle infrastructure, the Nevada Department of Transportation said.
Lee, a Democrat seeking re-election this year, took credit for helping to resurrect the infrastructure package as a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus.
She said Nevada is at the center of an opportunity to transition to an electrified economy.
Doug Cannon, president and CEO of NV Energy, said transportation is the top carbon-emitting sector in the environment.
“It represents a tremendous opportunity to reduce our carbon emissions as we look at electrifying the vehicle fleet,” he said.
Adding more charging stations in Nevada will give prospective buyers of electric vehicles the confidence to travel without fear of running out of battery life, he said. Having the funding from the infrastructure act is critical to addressing those concerns, he said.
The federal funding flowing into the state for charging stations comes in addition to the $100 million Nevada lawmakers approved last year to invest in vehicle infrastructure, Cannon said.
Kristen Averyt, an adviser in the governor’s office, said transitioning to electric vehicles is an important component of reaching the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“If we’re going to ensure a healthy, vibrant Nevada, and ensure that the next generation is really protected from the impacts of climate change, we have to get to net-zero emissions as soon as possible, and electrifying the transportation sector is a key part of that solution,” she said.
Michael McDonald, chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, fired back at Lee in a statement Friday.
“Susie Lee can try as hard as she can to change the subject with announcements like today’s but it won’t work,” McDonald said. “Nevadans are fed up with her and Joe Biden’s agenda that has led to it being more expensive to raise a family in the Silver State. Susie should enjoy the next few months of being a Congresswoman because her job is coming to an end in November.”