Environmental Quality department seeks grant applications to install more electric vehicle chargers
Oklahoma is using additional dollars from a legal settlement to boost two programs intended to help clear the state’s air.
Earlier this month, the agency announced its ChargeOK program has about $1.1 million to award through grants that would go to projects that establish publicly accessible charging stations for light-duty electric vehicles in certain parts of the state.
In particular, it seeks for charging stations to be built near Altus, Alva, Atoka, Boise City, Broken Bow, Checotah, Clinton and Duncan.
It also would like to see stations be built near Hennessey, Hobart, Laverne, Okemah, Perry, Poteau and Watonga.
The state aims to further blanket itself with EV charging stations.
Officials noted that only locations within 10 miles of each of those communities would be eligible to use grant dollars.
“The Volkswagen settlement funds have been instrumental in increasing electric vehicle capabilities and in the reduction of emissions in Oklahoma,” said Erin Hatfield, spokeswoman for the state agency. “Expanding transportation options will help to improve the wellbeing of our citizens and bolster future economic opportunities.”
Applications will be accepted through Sept. 8.
The other involves the settlement-related “On-Road” program, which is making $3.5 million available to support engine upgrades for fleets of private and public owned diesel vehicles.
The On-Road program, officials said, aims to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by replacing or repowering older vehicles with newer diesel or alternative fueled vehicles.
Owners of heavy and medium trucks and bus fleets can apply for dollars they have to cost-match to use, officials said.
The On-Road program’s dollars are not used to make upgrades to school bus fleets, they said.
Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30 for the On-Road program.
Dollars for both funds are flowing from a $2.7 billion settlement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Association reached in 2016 with Volkswagen.
The settlement was reached while the regulator was investigating complaints the automaker had provided false emissions data related to diesel power vehicles it was building and selling in the U.S.
So far (not including current offers), Oklahoma has distributed about $5.2 million of settlement-related funds, officials said Wednesday.