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A public charging station at Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fewer than 10% of Americans have easy access to an electric vehicle charging station, and those who do tend to be wealthy and white.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants EVs to comprise 50% of all new car sales by 2030, an ambitious target that will likely require broader consumer incentives. But if electric vehicles are going to achieve mass market adoption, people also need to be able to find charging plugs.

  • While most early buyers of EVs have chargers at home, it's not so easy for renters or people who live in multi-unit dwellings to find a place to plug in.

Where it stands: The U.S. has 104,000 public charging plugs available today, just 18% of which are so-called "Level 3" or "DC fast chargers," which can replenish an EV battery in an hour or less.

  • President Biden wants to see an additional 500,000 public charging stations deployed nationwide to support his EV ambitions.

The good news: There's an expected $7.5 billion for EV charging included in the $1.2 trillion “hard” infrastructure package currently being debated in Congress.

Driving the news: A new analysis of EV charging access in the 50 largest U.S. cities could help authorities decide where to put those plugs to optimize public access.

  • The report by location analytics firm Mobilyze.ai, and funded by the Toyota Mobility Foundation, studied demographic data, EV ownership and existing charging locations to see which U.S. households have convenient access to public charging and which do not.

What they found: Only 9.7% of households in U.S. cities have access to a public EV charging station within 1/4 mile (or a 5-minute walk) from home.

  • Wealthy households have better access in some populous cities like New York and Chicago. But in many other cities, lower-income households live closer to charging in downtown areas.
  • Black and Latino communities have significantly fewer charging stations than white neighborhoods. In Baltimore, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Boston, for example, the percentage of Black people living within a 5-minute walk of a charging station is at least 20% lower than in the rest of the city.
  • More charging equity is needed, the study found. If charging stations were deployed at each of the 169 Baltimore City Public Schools, for example, it would provide access to 158,000 more residents, narrowing that racial gap.
  • The U.S. has 18.5 EVs per charging plug today, but international benchmarks suggest one charger is needed for every 10 to 15 EVs. Even in California, the leading U.S. market for electric cars, EV adoption is outpacing charger deployment in some cities.

The catch: EVs are still more expensive on average than conventional vehicles, so closing the charging gap is only one step to a more equitable electric vehicle future.

The bottom line: There aren't enough EV chargers, and many cities don't have them in the right places, with Black and Latino neighborhoods having the least access.

Go deeper

GM plans to double revenues by 2030 as it rolls out EVs and services

GM CEO Mary Barra. Photo: GM

General Motors plans to double its revenues over the next decade as it transitions to an all-electric future, tapping into software and subscription services that enable new vehicle experiences and connect customers' digital lives, the company told reporters on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's an extraordinary target for a lumbering industrial giant that is trying to transform itself from automaker to "platform innovator."

Updated 47 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and planned to travel to another destination afterward when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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