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Feds Approve South Carolina’s $25M EV Charging Plan

Federal approval of South Carolina’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan announced recently puts more than $25 million for new high-powered chargers along 759 miles of designated EV corridors.

(TNS) — The approval of a new state plan to add electric vehicle charging stations could add to more than a dozen already in York County.

Federal approval of South Carolina’s Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan announced recently puts more than $25 million for new stations statewide in the next two years. The announcement is part of $1.5 billion to build chargers across 75,000 miles of highway nationwide.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an announcement last week that plans for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico received federal approval. The aim is to allow Americans from large cities to rural areas access to electric vehicle use.

“America led the original automotive revolution in the last century, and today, thanks to the historic resources in the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re poised to lead in the 21st century with electric vehicles,” Buttigieg said.

The South Carolina funding will focus first on high-powered chargers along 759 miles of designated EV corridors.


The South Carolina plan prioritizes chargers along interstates.

Initial focus will go to rural sections along the interstate, according to the approved plan, where lack of urban facilities make EV usage less likely. Public involvement will follow to revise the plan and determine exact locations. Public engagement should begin in mid-2023.

The full length of I-77 in South Carolina is listed in the state’s alternative fuel corridor area. So is the full length of I-85 and a portion of I-26. Another section of I-26 and all of I-95 and I-20 in South Carolina are listed in the plan as pending designations.

Public involvement will include everything from planning organizations like the Rock Hill-Fort Mill Area Transportation Study to gas station owners, car and tire makers, utility professionals and more.

The plan also addresses signs and branding. In late 2020, Palmetto Clean Fuels Coalition launched a program to standardize charging station signs. So far 87 free signs have been distributed to and installed for participating charging stations. All South Carolina public charging stations are eligible.


The state plan shows 19 existing public charging sites in York, Lancaster and Chester counties. They combine for 51 chargers. In 2016, the Rock Hill region had six public charging stations. In 2020 there were 11 stations.

Most of the stations are in Rock Hill. A dozen stations with with 28 chargers include one or two plugs each at city hall, the municipal garage, operations center, Riverwalk YMCA, airport and Galleria Boulevard.

Tega Cay has two chargers on Stonecrest Boulevard. Indian Land has three stations on Calvin Hall Road, with six combined chargers. Richburg and Fort Lawn each have two chargers.

The largest charging stations are all Tesla setups. There are 12 chargers at the Comfort Inn in Fort Mill. Three more Rock Hill hotels and the Pump House restaurant have two to five Tesla chargers each. No public charging station outside of the Tesla stations has more than two chargers, in the region.

None of the five charging stations in alternative fuel corridors are in the Rock Hill region.


In 2016, South Carolina had about 2,000 fully electric or hybrid vehicles registered. The count increased 32-51% each of the next four years. Last year, the more than 12,000 electric or hybrid vehicles was a 64% increase from the year prior.

Still, electric or hybrid vehicles are not the majority. Federal Highway Administration data shows South Carolina has almost 3.9 million licensed drivers.

South Carolina has 918 public charging ports. President Joe Biden set a goal for half of all new vehicles sold nationwide by 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles.

“Every single state, D.C. and Puerto Rico are working to leverage the investments from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic electric vehicle charging across America,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm.

“President Biden is leading the shift to electrify transportation,” U.S. Sec. of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in the release, “ensuring drivers can commute and charge confidently and affordably, and lessening our oversized reliance on fossil fuels while combating climate change.”

The five-year funding plan includes more than $10 million this fiscal year and almost $15 million each of the next four years.

©2022 The Charlotte Observer, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.