Wisconsin is on the fast track to becoming a leader in electric vehicle infrastructure, following Gov. Tony Evers' signing of two bills aiming to expand Wisconsin's EV charging network.

The newly signed bills lay the groundwork for a comprehensive EV infrastructure plan, spearheaded by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

Under the new legislation, private businesses are encouraged to establish EV charging stations, selling electricity by the kilowatt hour, which is expected to spur the growth of charging infrastructure, making EV ownership more practical and appealing across Wisconsin. With a framework now in place, the state is poised to use $78 million in federal funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, offering incentives that could catalyze rapid expansion.

One of the bills introduces a 3-cent per kilowatt hour state tax on electricity sales from these chargers. While projections vary, with estimates ranging from $27,000 to $930,000 in annual tax revenue, the impact extends beyond financial gains.

“WisDOT is ready to activate the federal funding and help industry quickly build fast chargers across the state,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said in a statement. “Electric vehicle drivers in Wisconsin will soon be able to travel about 85% of our state highway system and never be more than 25 miles away from a charger.”

In a move to ensure fair pricing, the legislation prohibits public EV chargers from undercutting the prices set by private entities. This ensures a level playing field, encouraging investment and growth in the sector.

"Expanding EV charging infrastructure is a critical part of our work to ensure Wisconsin is ready to compete and build the future we want for our kids," Evers said in a statement.

Wisconsin's largest gas station chain, Kwik Trip, said it backs the plan.

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