Reps. Andy Levin, Ocasio-Cortez Introduce Transformative Bill to Create Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

February 6, 2020
Press Release
The EV Freedom Act will create jobs by developing a nationwide infrastructure of high-speed electric vehicle charging stations, which are essential to reducing car emissions and combating climate change.

Congressman Andy Levin, a former green energy entrepreneur and state workforce officer, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez today unveiled the Electric Vehicle (EV) Freedom Act, a bill that will create good-paying jobs nationwide, electrify America’s highway system and take necessary steps to combat climate change.

“President Dwight D. Eisenhower once implemented a radical idea – a system of highways that would bring America together,” Rep. Levin said. “Six decades later, it’s time to expand on that idea and bring America’s infrastructure into the 21st century. If we are to avoid the doomsday scenario of climate change, we have to transform our transportation system and end our reliance on fossil fuels. By doing so, we have the tremendous opportunity to supercharge our economy and create the jobs of the future, further unify our country in a sustainable way and lead the world in green energy infrastructure. That’s why I am so proud to join Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and introduce the EV Freedom Act.

“Throughout my career, as an activist and as a union organizer, I have held to the belief that for us to make the change that this world so desperately needs, working people must be at the forefront. This holds true for our ability to rapidly and aggressively address climate change, but the narrative we hear so often is that environmental groups, labor organizations and industries can’t work together when it comes to this fight. Today, we prove them wrong. The unified coalition behind this bill is made up of labor, climate and environmental justice groups that see both the urgency and potential of another radical idea.”

“Today's legislation is a necessary step in reducing the barriers that have held back greater electric vehicles adoption,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said. “Cars, above all else, have historically represented America's problem with dirty oil. Establishing a nation-wide network of electric vehicles charging stations helps us reduce emissions, creates good paying jobs, and will help transition the U.S. economy to a cleaner future.”

Specifically, the EV Freedom Act:

  • Establishes a comprehensive, nationwide network of high-speed EV chargers within 5 years;
  • Helps secure the automotive and infrastructure jobs of the future and create thousands of good-paying jobs with robust Buy America and prevailing wage requirements to protect the hardworking Americans who will build an EV future;
  • Ensures the chargers built along the National Highway System keep up with new technology to achieve a simple goal—fully power up EVs in the time it takes to fill up gas and diesel tanks;
  • Promotes interoperability so drivers don’t have to fear that chargers won’t be compatible with their cars; and
  • Prioritizes accessibility by guaranteeing that payment methods are secure, convenient, and equal access, and that all charging stations are ADA compliant.

The EV Freedom Act directs the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of Energy to devise a plan to create the network of EV chargers, submit the plan to Congress and create the network of EV chargers within five years.

The EV Freedom Act has the support of a diverse group of labor, environment and climate groups, including:

Blue Green Alliance, League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, Earthjustice, Ecology Center, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC), Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), United Steelworkers (USW), United Automobile Workers (UAW) and the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE).