Vermont to allocate $15 million toward EV charging infrastructure in 2023

By Dave Fidlin | The Center Square

Set against the backdrop of a $15 million appropriation in Gov. Phil Scott’s fiscal year 2023 budget, state lawmakers are in the process of examining logistics for an ambitious rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Vermont is moving forward with plans of installing EV charging stations in 17 different areas. But the plan comes with a caveat – dependency on the still-volatile supply chain.

Big picture, Vermont officials have expressed a desire to have a robust EV charging network across the state, with stations in urban, midsize communities and rural areas. But a number of the finer points are still being fleshed out.

Patrick Murphy, sustainability and innovations project manager with the Vermont Agency of Transportation, went before the Senate Committee on Transportation on Feb. 2. During the discussion, he said the AOT remains in the information-gathering phase.

“Right now, we just don’t have that data,” Murphy said of determining how many EV charging stations ultimately will be installed. “The federal guidance on the deployment of these funds is just to facilitate as much data as possible to guide future investments.”

EV charging stations will include equipment for one or more models: 480-volt fast charging; 240-volt for level two charging; and 120-volt for level one charging.

As electric vehicles increase in popularity, senators sitting on the panel questioned how the stations would be able to adequately meet demand.

“I’m worried about charge ranges,” said state Sen. Thomas Chittenden, D-Montpelier. “When we start getting a large number of people wanting to get to the charging station, what role do you think we should have in mandating that there’s a certain through-point, meaning the cars can queue up in a line, similar to a gas station?”

Murphy, in response, said such a scenario would require further expansion of the number of EV charging stations.

“As we develop our own state plan for how we’re going to deploy these funds, we’ll take into account potential demand for these places,” he said.

While there still are a number of big picture questions, the state is moving forward with plans of installing EV charging stations in 17 different areas. But the plan comes with a caveat – dependency on the still-volatile supply chain.

“We do anticipate them to all be installed and operational by the end of the year,” said Gary Holloway, downtown program manager in the Department of Housing and Community Development. “But there is some dependency on things coming into place.”

Holloway added, “We are hearing about delays with transformers of 20 to 30 weeks for some parts.”

While much of the committee-level discussion focused on public charging stations, the state is also offering resources for a $1 million grant program for owners of multi-unit housing developments interested in installing EV charging stations.

Bronwyn Cooke, community planning and policy manager with the Department of Housing and Community Development, said current statistics suggest 80% of EV charging occurs at home.

The state has opened its application window for the grants, Cooke said, and an April 1 deadline has been set. Plans call for awarding the grants April 22.

“This is the first time we’re doing a project like this,” Cooke said. “It is a pilot. We’re expecting to learn a lot. We’re expecting to get a lot of really good questions.”

Image courtesy of Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
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15 thoughts on “Vermont to allocate $15 million toward EV charging infrastructure in 2023

  1. ELECTRIC TRANSIT AND SCHOOL BUS SYSTEMS REDUCE LITTLE CO2, ARE NOT COST-EFFECTIVE
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-likely-not-cost-effective-in-vermont-at

    China has made electric buses and EVs a priority in urban areas to reduce excessive air pollution, due to: 1) coal-fired power plants, and 2) increased vehicle traffic.

    The US has much less of a pollution problem than China, except in its larger urban areas.
    The US uses much less coal, more domestic natural gas, and CO2-free nuclear is still around.

    New England has a pollution problem in its southern urban areas.
    Vermont has a minor pollution problem in Burlington and a few other urban areas.

    RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan

    It would require:

    – Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.
    – Additional centralized, command/control/orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps, and major appliances
    2) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses

    RE Folks Want More EVs and Buses Bought With “Free” Money

    RE folks drive the energy priorities of New England governments. RE folks want to use about $40 million of “free” federal COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy electric transit and school buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont. RE folks urge Vermonters to buy:

    Mass Transit Buses
    Electric: $750,000 – $1,000,000 each, plus infrastructures, such as indoor parking, high-speed charging systems.
    Standard Diesel: $380,000 – $420,000; indoor parking and charging systems not required.

    School Buses
    Electric: $330,000 – $375,000, plus infrastructures
    Standard Diesel: about $100,000
    https://atlaspolicy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Electric-Buses-a

    This article shows the 2 Proterra transit buses in Burlington, VT, would reduce CO2 at very high cost per metric ton, and the minor annual operating cost reduction would be overwhelmed by the cost of amortizing $million buses that last about 12 to 15 years.

    The $40 million of “free” money would be far better used to build zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses for suffering households; such housing would last at least 50 to 75 years.

    NOTE: Per Economics 101, spending huge amounts of borrowed capital on various projects that 1) have very poor financials, and 2) yield minor reductions in CO2 at high cost, is a recipe for:

    1) Low economic efficiency, and
    2) Low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would:

    – Adversely affect Vermont and US competitiveness in markets, and
    – Adversely affect living standards and 3) inhibit unsubsidized/efficient/profitable job creation.

    Real Costs of Government RE Programs Likely Will Remain Hidden

    Vermont’s government engaging in electric bus demonstration programs, financed with “free” money, likely will prove to be expensive undertakings, requiring hidden subsidies, white-washing and obfuscation.

    Lifetime spreadsheets, with 1) turnkey capital costs, 2) annual cashflows, 3) annual energy cost savings, 4) annual CO2 reductions, and 5) cost of CO2 reduction/metric ton, with all assumptions clearly stated and explained, likely will never see the light of day.

  2. CHEVY BOLT CATCHES FIRE WHILE CHARGING ON DRIVEWAY IN VERMONT
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/chevy-bolt-catches-fire-while-charging-on-driveway-in-vermont

    THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, 66 kWh battery, battery pack cost about $10,000, or 10000/66 = $152/kWh, EPA range 238 miles, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.

    He had been driving back and forth from Thetford, VT, to Montpelier, VT, with his EV, about 100 miles via I-89
    He had parked his 2019 Chevy Bolt on the driveway, throughout the winter, per GM recall of Chevy Bolts
    He had plugged his EV into a 240-volt charger.
    His battery was at about 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM; 8 hours of charging.
    Charging over such a wide range is detrimental for the battery. However, it is required for “range-driving”, i.e., making long trips. See Note

    NOTE: Range-driving is an absolute no-no, except on rare occasions, as it would 1) pre-maturely age/damage the battery, 2) reduce range sooner, 3) increase charging loss, and 4) increase kWh/mile, and 5) increase the chance of battery fires.

    Charging at 32F or less

    Li-ions would plate out on the anode each time when charging, especially when such charging occurred at battery temperatures of 32F or less.

    Here is an excellent explanation regarding charging at 32F or less.
    https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/263036/why-charging-li-ion-batteries-in-cold-temperatures-would-harm-them

    Fire in Driveway

    Firefighters were called to Briglin’s house on Tucker Hill Road, around 9 AM Thursday.
    Investigators from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit determined:

    1) The fire started in a compartment in the back of the passenger’s side of the vehicle
    2) It was likely due to an “electrical failure”. See Note

    NOTE: Actually, it likely was one or more battery cells shorting out, which creates heat, which burns nearby items, which creates a fire that is very hard to extinguish. See Appendix

    https://www.vnews.com/Firefighters-put-out-blaze-in-car-of-Vt-State-Representative-41272606
    https://www.engadget.com/gm-chevy-bolt-fire-warning-215322969.html
    https://electrek.co/2020/11/13/gm-recall-chevy-bolt-evs-potential-fire-risk/

    GM Recall of Chevy Bolts

    In 2020, GM issued a worldwide recall of 68,667 Chevy Bolts, all 2017, 2018 and 2019 models, plus, in 2021, a recall for another 73,000 Bolts, all 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.
    GM set aside $1.8 BILLION to replace battery modules, or 1.8 BILLION/(68,667 + 73,000) = $12,706/EV.

    https://insideevs.com/news/524712/chevrolet-bolt-battery-recall-cost/
    https://thehill.com/policy/transportation/568817-gm-expands-bolt-ev-recall-to-include-73000-more-vehicles

    Owners were advised not to charge them in a garage, and not to leave them unattended while charging, which may take up to 8 hours; what a nuisance!
    I wonder what could happen during rush hour traffic, or in a parking garage, or at a shopping mall, etc.
    Rep. Briglin heeded the GM recall by not charging in his garage. See URLs

    https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2021/09/16/electric-social-distancing/
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/some-ne-state-governments-play-deceptive-games-with-co2-emissions

    NOTE:

    – Cost of replacing the battery packs of 80,000 Hyundai Konas was estimated at $900 million, about $11,000 per vehicle
    https://insideevs.com/news/492167/reports-lg-chem-cost-hyundai-battery-recall/
    – EV batteries should be charged from 20 to 80%, to achieve minimal degradation and long life, plus the charging loss is minimal in that range
    – Charging EVs from 0 to 20% charge, and from 80 to 100% charge:

    1) Uses more kWh AC from the wall outlet per kWh DC charged into the battery, and
    2) Is detrimental to the battery.
    3) Requires additional kWh for cooling the battery while charging.

    – EV batteries must never be charged, when the battery temperature is less than 32F; if charged anyway, the plating out of Li-ions on the anode would permanently damage the battery.
    https://www.energy.gov/eere/articles/how-does-lithium-ion-battery-work

  3. POOR ECONOMICS AND MINIMAL CO2 REDUCTION OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN NEW ENGLAND
    https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/poor-economics-of-electric-vehicles-in-new-england

    This article describes the efficiency of electric vehicles, EVs, and their charging loss, when charging at home and on-the-road, and the economics, when compared with efficient gasoline vehicles.

    In this article,

    Total cost of an EV, c/mile = Operating cost, c/mile + Owning cost, c/mile, i.e., amortizing the difference of the MSRPs of an EV versus an equivalent, efficient gasoline vehicle; no options, no destination charge, no sales tax, no subsidies.

    CO2 reduction of equivalent vehicles, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis = CO2 emissions of an efficient gasoline vehicle, say 30 to 40 mpg – CO2 emissions of an EV

    SUMMARY

    Real-World Concerns About the Economics of EVs

    It may not be such a good idea to have a proliferation of EVs, because of:

    1) Their high initial capital costs; about 50% greater than equivalent gasoline vehicles.
    2) The widespread high-speed charging facilities required for charging “on the road”.
    3) The loss of valuable time when charging “on the road”.
    4) The high cost of charging/kWh, plus exorbitant penalties, when charging “on-the-road”.

    High-Mileage Hybrids a Much Better Alternative Than EVs

    The Toyota Prius, and Toyota Prius plug-in, which get up to 54 mpg, EPA combined, would:

    1) Have much less annual owning and operating costs than any EV, for at least the next ten years.
    2) Have minimal wait-times, as almost all such plug-ins would be charging at home
    3) Be less damaging to the environment, because their batteries would have very low capacity, kWh
    4) Impose much less of an additional burden on the electric grids.

    Hybrid vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, save about the same amount of CO₂ as electric cars over their lifetime, plus:

    1) They are cost-competitive with gasoline vehicles, even without subsidies.
    2) They do not require EV chargers, do not induce range anxiety, can be refilled in minutes, instead of hours.
    3) Climate change does not care about where CO₂ comes from. Gasoline cars are only about 7% of global CO2 emissions. Replacing them with electric cars would only help just a little, on an A to Z, lifetime basis.

    “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan

    It would require:

    – Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.
    – Additional command/control-orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps
    2) Operating times of major appliances
    3) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses

  4. Since the state is flush with all this federal play money from Joe, a real leader would have taken the $15 million and put it into property tax reduction for people so badly hurt from the lockdowns and restrictions placed on small business people and those who were forced to close their businesses. Hell no, let’s just get some car charging stations out there for the wealthy, virtue signaling trust funders who can already afford these useless (in Vermont winter) vehicles to thank our progressive donors. I run a 12 year old car. It is dependable and has gotten me home every time. I can’t afford nor do I ever want an EV.

  5. What a hoot – there are more rare earth metals in the USA than anywhere else in the world.
    So Biden is shutting down the mining operations for them, killing those good paying union jobs one right after the other.

    In the meantime, China is carving up Africa and now has their focus set on Afghanistan.

    You can’t make this clown-show up ….

    https://www.audible.com/pd/China-and-Rare-Earth-Podcast/B09FQ6BJQS

    https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/591476-biden-administration-cancels-two-minnesota-mining-leases

  6. SOMEbody will be makin’ mucho mullah – filthy lucre – on the backs of the tax payers.
    It won’t be the tax payers.
    This is coercian, once again, by a tyrannical, fascist State that has Vermont by the shorthairs…because we so poor, and ig’int and stoopid that we need hep.
    We have NO idea how to survive off the land, want expensive cars, and IOT housing… that’s the portrait of Vermonters (SO insulting) the NWO has, and Daddy boy Scott and commie cronies are pushing down our throats.
    I don’t know ANY Vermonter who’s been here for a winter who thinks EVs are a good idea.
    ONLY transplants think so.
    And those values are doomed to fail here – because – we don’t want them.
    We’re simply not interested.
    Give me a good second hand car anytime. That good ole boy coming down the road when it ran out of gas knows how to help me out and get me going again.
    90/hour mechanic fees will double, parts mined in Africa, put together by slave labor in China/Taiwan/Korea, and forced on us by corrupt politicians whose pockets are being lined by the lobbyists in service to Mammon (the destroyer of Life and quality of Life), will bankrupt any Vermonter who thinks their tips will cover any of that.
    Wake up Vermonters.
    You are being bamboozled, prostituted, and pimped out.
    Welcome to Chinarmont. The new home of all things status quo and communist.

  7. Who pays for the electricity provided by these public charging stations? It would seem that electricity is free to the person who plugs into the system at the Rockingham park and ride on Rt.5.

    • Lines at public charging sites would be avoided, if Vermont mandates every existing and new building must have at least one charging station for the people living in the building.

      Efficiency Vermont would be required to distribute subsidies for such chargers.

      These people would HAVE THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE of charging speed and voltage.

      The more things are decided by the grassroots people, the less the state’s know-little bureaucrats need to be involved

  8. The state should plan for more towing service also. When our down country tourists come for leaf peeping season and veer off into the hinterland of back country Vermont finding a lonely charge station might be difficult. Probably should install those cell towers first so these EV drivers can call for a tow truck. I’m also interested in seeing the new electric snow plows, freight train engines, semi-trucks and commercial airline planes when we do away with fossil fuels. By then we will probably have to also rebuild the electric grid, fire up a small nuke plant and line every mountain ridge with propeller driven monoliths and plaster our fields and meadows with solar panels from China. This new utopian world is going to be expensive and by the time this is all in place the climate will have been changed and the world will live in peace and harmony. Progressives are so wonderful!

    • Hi Dano,
      Last night Howie Carr down in Boston was all over the stupidity of this electric car thing.
      He said that thieves are cutting and stealing the cords they use to recharge.
      They contain precious metals and are valuable if you are a Junky it seems (not that we have any of those around- mind you)
      So Howie said “Where does this go next?? are we then going to have to build garages that have a Starbucks in them to safely recharge and have the equipment stay safe and not stolen?? I mean where is the limit here??”

      Can you all see where this is going.. I’m reminded of the Big Dig down in Boston.
      A massive boondoggle to milk the gubbamint cow.
      Maybe you can call this “Vermont’s BIG SWIG”

      • Starbucks will be at every charging station and mini-strip malls will spring up for their shopping pleasure. What else can you do while your EV is charging for 4 or 5 hours just to get you home. Planning a trip in an EV is also going to be challenging especially during the winter months. The owners manual will say that you have a 300 mile range, until you turn on the heater, windshield wipers and have the radio on. Whoops, 300 turns out to be 200 and you can’t find a plug anywhere. All of this is beyond ignorant. I’d assume these people are suck on stupid but I know better. It’s about subsidizing the green energy religion. Without government cash this boondoggle would be dead already. People living in Vermont outside of the nearest city do not want EVs. They do not provide the safety and dependability of inturnal combustion engines. Follow the money!

        • If 50 people showed up at a Starbucks to have breakfast and a charge, where in hell would all these cars be parked?

          Who would line up these cars?
          Where would they be parked?
          No one would be peed early in the morning?

          The logistics would become every-day horror stories, especially on cold winter days, with snow, sleet and ice.

          THINK BEFORE DOING SOMETHING IDIOTIC

          GIVING BUREAUCRATS MONEY IS A DANGEROUS THING

          • Willem –
            You bring up a good point. Starbucks and similar businesses thrive because of volume. Handling 50 people is no problem. They grab a meal to go or they spend a quarter, a half or, in rare cases; even a whole hour there and leave. If they stay long enough to charge up their cars, Starbuck’s customer capacity and return on facilities is greatly diminished. Why would they want charging stations at these in-and -out moneymakers? Is the answer still more state $ubsidies?
            “Cooke said. ‘It is a pilot. We’re expecting to learn a lot.’ ”. He’s (She’s?) certainly right about that.

  9. There was a plan – I don’t know what it was, but it was highly successful – through which state wide and nation wide gas stations came into being. It seems reasonable to adopt an already proven and fiscally responsible charging station distribution. In my grandfather’s youth, he tells me, you bought gasoline at hardware stores in five gallon cans if you weren’t near a fuel depot to which it was delivered by railroad tank cars. Still was a half century ago – when I lived near a Shell, later BP depot I used to get gas, distillate, tractor fuel, lubricating oil there. Individuals, entrepreneurs, set up locations, bought tanks, bought pumps, lights, built a station, sold motor fuel. Is the cost of a charging station prohibitively higher than building a gas station? Why should this be built on the shoulders of taxpayers?

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