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Iowa joins nationwide network of EV charging stations

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Mark Moran

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(Iowa News Service) Iowa is accepting bids from people who want an EV charging station on their land. It's part of a nationwide network of infrastructure designed to meet the needs of electric vehicle owners.

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, or NEVI, will provide funding to build charging stations every 50 miles along U.S. interstate highways - from coast to coast.

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In Iowa, that includes I-80, 380, 29 and 35.

The Iowa Environmental Council's Energy Policy Counsel Steve Geyer said businesses, electric utilities, nonprofits, towns - and even private landowners, such as farmers - can apply, as long as their land is within a mile of the freeway and meets other criteria.

"Suppose you are that farmer and you are at one of those locations," said Geyer. "Sure. If you have the availability to raise the capital, that's one of the criteria. You have to be able to demonstrate that you either have ownership of the land or you have the rights to the land."

The deadline to apply for the grants is April 19.

Each location will have four rapid-charging ports, but Geyer said they won't just be bare-bones places to power up the EV.

"Every location has to have some form of not only restroom facilities," said Geyer, "but also - be it a convenience store or vending machines, et cetera - recognizing that it will take some time to charge your car so you need, presumably, something to do during that time."

Applications go through the Iowa Department of Transportation.