Four sites throughout Missouri will share $1.2 million in funding to construct electric vehicle charging stations, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced.
The financial awards were made to four recipients approved to construct the stations: Francis Energy in Harrisonville, Francis Energy in Perryville, Francis Energy in Nevada and Blink Network LLC in Rolla. Five sites throughout the state are operational with the remaining eight undergoing development. Towns receiving funds in 2021 included Bethany, Cameron, Columbia, Concordia, Joplin, Kingdom City, Rockport, Sikeston and Springfield.
The funding comes from the Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Trust. The trust was created to settle allegations in 2016 made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It alleged Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act with its 2009 to 2016 motor vehicles by equipping them with devices to alter their emissions ratings. The controls allowed vehicles to perform optimally during emissions tests and meet EPA standards, but returned to emitting high levels of nitrogen oxide during normal use.
About $41 million was allocated to Missouri for mitigation projects. State allocations depended on the number of Volkswagen vehicles operated in the state. DNR earmarked approximately $6 million of its funds to create a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
“We are committed to helping communities take advantage of electric vehicle charging stations to help support the growing demand for these vehicle types, while helping to reduce emissions,” Gov. Mike Parson said in a statement announcing funding for the sites. “Missourians rely on essential infrastructure that protect our environment, and new electric vehicle charging stations will further increase travel options across our state.”
DNR held a series of meetings with citizen stakeholder groups to focus on making Missouri highways optimal for electric vehicle owners. Thirteen charging station sites, near highway intersections, were identified throughout the state. Combined with the 30 other charging sites planned by utility companies, the 13 sites will provide a basic charging network in Missouri.
“We are excited about enhancing Missouri’s charging infrastructure network and partnering with stakeholders to develop a practical and efficient plan,” Dru Buntin, director of the Missouri DNR, said in a statement. “The EV charging installations are making it possible for electric vehicle owners to travel across Missouri, using the new charging services along the way.”
Four of seven proposals received funding during this round. DNR accepted applications from local governments and businesses located near specified highway intersections and used a scoring method to evaluate technical aspects of the proposal and relevant business experience.
Plans for the remaining $3 million for electric vehicle infrastructure will be determined. A workgroup tasked with distributing the remaining funds will advise DNR on specifics, such as the type of charging equipment needed for recharging speed and energy levels, site locations and other factors.