08.14.21

Senate-Passed Infrastructure Bill Would Launch Significant Expansion of Electric Vehicles and Clean Transit

Bill would fund major investment in electric buses and ferries along with historic expansion of EV charging infrastructure

Washington, D.C. – The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday would bring Rhode Island millions of dollars to build out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and to get more electric ferries and buses in service.

“We’re doing our part in the Senate to make driving a clean car much more convenient and to electrify the nation’s public transit fleet. I’m particularly excited about the prospect of electric ferries carrying Rhode Islanders across Narragansett Bay,” said Whitehouse. “Greening up the transportation sector will save consumers money over the long run, advance environmental justice, and make big strides in our race against climate change.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would invest $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers and accelerate the adoption of EVs to address the climate crisis. Rhode Island would receive $23 million over five years to support the creation of an EV charging network. The state would have the opportunity to apply for an additional $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging. The legislation also includes a $2.5 billion investment in electric ferries, which Whitehouse advocated for. With $5 billion set aside for zero-emission and clean buses, the bill would help school districts across the country purchase American-made zero-emission buses. The package would provide an additional $39 billion to modernize public transit, including upgrades to rail and bus fleets and the replacement of thousands of vehicles with zero-emission models.

Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation account for about 29 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions making it the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act awaits action in the House of Representatives.