4 area counties may benefit from federal grant for EV charging stations

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has received a $6.1 million grant from the federal Department of Transportation to install 300-400 electric vehicle charging ports across the 20-county Atlanta region. In our area, all or parts of Forsyth, Gwinnett, Barrow, and Dawson counties are included. The program will focus on communities where EV charging is “scarce” to support “equity in the region’s EV transition.”

“The location of charging stations has not been determined,” ARC spokesman Paul Donsky told GLORY 97.5. “We will develop criteria with the selected vendor. It’s possible that not every county will receive a charging station, it all depends. Again, we are aiming to focus on underserved areas to ensure an equitable transition to EV.”

ARC applied for the discretionary funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program. The EV sites will offer free, Level 2 charging.

Level 2 offers higher-rate charging through 240V or 208V ports that are common for home, workplace, and public charging. Takes 4-10 hours or more to charge an EV battery to 80% from empty.

“As a region, we must prepare for the EV revolution that we know is coming, in a way that ensures no community is left behind,” said Anna Roach, Executive Director & CEO of the Atlanta Regional Commission. “We are grateful that the U.S. Department of Transportation chose to invest in the Atlanta region’s future.”

The first round of charging ports funded through this grant is expected to be installed in 12-18 months. Currently, there are about 1,800 to 2,000 publicly accessible Level 2 EV charging station ports in metro Atlanta.

ARC will work with a private sector partner that will be responsible for installing and maintaining the charging ports.

“Charging infrastructure right now is clustered in more affluent and more densely developed areas of our region,” said John Orr, Managing Director of Transportation Planning at ARC. “These funds provide an opportunity to not only expand the total number of available high-quality charging stations but also fill in some of these gaps that present a barrier to EV adoption.”