The Biden administration has announced new standards to regulate the $7.5bn investment for EV charging stations made as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The government wants to ensure universal, reliable, and convenient access to these charging stations to achieve the administration’s goal of having 500,000 EV stations nationwide by 2030. Federal funding for this infrastructure requires consistent plug types, power levels with minimum fast-charging capacity, 97% uptime reliability, data on location, pricing, and accessibility, and universal methods of identification for all EV charging. Tesla has agreed to make its charging stations available to all EVs by 2024 to qualify for the funding; a similar level of collaboration is expected with other EV manufacturers. Nevertheless, over 60% of the direct current fast chargers in the US are Tesla Superchargers, and close to 75% of fast chargers installed in 2021 were Tesla chargers. The company is in a strong position to undercut competitors and win many of the contracts for charging stations under the NEVI programme, which represents $5bn of the government’s EV charging infrastructure spending. O&G firms, however, are also taking an increasingly significant interest in charging infrastructure, with BP announcing a $1.3bn deal to acquire the rest-stop operator TravelCenters of America.
This week’s deals included a $750m Series A funding round for Beijing-based EV manufacturer Zeekr, valuing the firm at $13bn. Los Angeles-based EV charging maintenance platform ChargerHelp! raised $18m in Series A funding, and Chicago-based NanoGraf received $65m for silicone-based battery technology. Meanwhile, Loam Bio raised $73m for microbial soil carbon sequestration, and Durham-based sweeteners producer Elo Life Systems raised $25m in Series A funding. In addition, German battery recycling company Cylib raised $9m in seed funding, while Aachen-based Robigo secured $7m at the seed funding stage for its biopesticide crop protection platform.