HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - Multiple rounds of federal dollars are on the way to help Pennsylvania with electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. 

Earlier today in Lackawanna County, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), state transportation officials and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced the first round of conditional awards for federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure funding. 

“This gives us the chance as a nation to begin- just begin- to get control of our clean energy future,” said Casey, who voted in favor of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021. 

The law provides states with $7.5 billion to make EV charging more accessible. Within the $7.5 billion is the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.

“We're not going to be out-competed by China. We're not going to allow climate change to overwhelm us. We're going to determine our own American future,” said Casey.

The $33.8 million in awards is the first of multiple rounds. PennDOT will receive and disburse a total of $171.5 million for EV charging over the next five years. 

“The number of electric vehicles that we have in Pennsylvania today is growing. There will be more tomorrow than today and more the day after that,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. 

Carroll says EV owners should not have to worry about charging their vehicle when traveling in Pennsylvania. He says the first step is focusing on projects along interstates and ensuring charging is available at least every 50 miles.  

“For people to be able to get where they need to be without fear of wondering where they're going to charge their electric vehicle next,” said Carroll. 

“We're going to be able to have the kind of charging stations which will allow us to create the incentives to have more people driving electric vehicles all across our commonwealth and across our country,” said Casey. "It's essential we do this, not simply because of the challenge presented by climate change, but just to be able to have the kind of economy we want in the future. We have to make these investments and we're lucky to have the opportunity,” Casey added. 

The first round of NEVI funding will fund 216 charging ports across 35 counties. Officials say construction could be underway by the end of the year. 

In Erie County, TA Operating LLC will receive $1.1 million for a charging station at the TravelCenters of America (I-90, Exit 35). In Crawford County, Tesla, Inc will receive $211,165 for a charging station at the Giant Eagle in Meadville (I-79, Exit 147 A-B).