Electrification of Wisconsin

​​​Wisconsin Electrification Initiative logo

​While EVs have existed for years, the increased emphasis on this potentially transformative technology will have exciting and significant impacts to Wisconsin's economy, workforce, and transportation system in the years to come.

WisDOT's mission is to provide leadership in the development and operation of a safe and efficient transportation system. As EVs continue to alter the status quo of the transportation system, WisDOT will continue to collaborate with government, industry, and the public to create innovative transportation solutions that meet the needs of our state and contribute to the health and well-being of our communities.

"Electrification is coming. The private sector has spoken. The major auto manufacturers are retooling and have announced ambitious plans to transition to producing predominantly electric vehicles in the near future. That is good for our environment because it can dramatically reduce emission from burning fossil fuels. We, in the public sector, need to be ready for this transformational change - and in Wisconsin, we will be. That is why WisDOT is continuing to work with our partners to enhance Wisconsin's EV infrastructure and make benefits of EVs available to everyone in Wisconsin."

- Secretary Craig Thompson


EVs are designed to run on electricity generated through an EV battery, eliminating the need for gasoline. They are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, require less maintenance than internal combustion engines (ICE) and run quietly.

Most EVs are able to travel more than 150 miles on a single charge and some can travel 200 to 300 miles or more. A number of factors impact range of battery charge including battery type and ambient temperature as cold weather greatly decreases range. EV battery design efforts continue to create more efficient options for consumers, allowing more miles per charge and faster charging than ever before.

According to respected national research firms, EVs are expected to comprise over half of all passenger vehicles sold in the United States by 2040, increasing the need for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (EVCS) across the state. The Wisconsin DMV reports that in calendar year 2020, 4,994 electric passenger vehicles were registered in the state. An additional 1,115 electric trucks were registered totaling 6,109 total registered electric vehicles.

Hybrid Vehicles

Currently, available hybrid vehicles run on both electricity and gasoline. There are two kinds of hybrid vehicles, plug in hybrids and hybrid vehicles. Plug in hybrids (PHEV) first run on battery power, and gasoline second. Hybrid vehicles run first on gasoline and then on electricity second. Both offer some benefits of full electric vehicles including reduced tailpipe emissions and energy efficiency.

Medium- and Heavy-duty Electric Vehicles

In addition to EV passenger vehicles (light-duty vehicles), market demand for medium- and heavy-duty EVs is growing. Communities are turning to electric as an option for their bus fleets, replacing diesel counterparts. Truck fleets are also considering more electric options as viable alternative fuel sources for their fleets. The transition of medium- and heavy-duty fleets to electric vehicles would potentially offer numerous benefits including reduced tailpipe emissions. Medium- and heavy-duty fleet conversions can include additional challenges such as cost, availability, and long-distance battery range.

Wisconsin's existing EVCS network is primarily privately owned. To see where EVCS are currently located, refer to the WisDOT Alternative Fuels webpage or the U.S. Department of Energy EVCS locator.

There are three levels of EV chargers.

Level 1 Charger

Level 1 Charger

Level 2 Charger

Level 2 Charger

Level 3 Charger

Level 3/DC Fast Charger


Level of Charger Charging Speed Location and Uses
Level 12-5 miles of range per hour of chargingMost commonly located in homes of hybrid vehicle owners. Due to the slow charge pace, many EV owners opt for a Level 2 Chargers
Level 210-20 miles of range per hour of chargingMost commonly located in homes, workplaces, and other public charging locations where a vehicle would be parked for a few hours.
Level 3/Direct Current (DC) Fast Charger/Super Charger60-80 miles of range in 20 minutes of chargingFastest form of charging currently available, offering the greatest traveling distance in the shortest amount of charging time, and as a result, is a popular choice to place in public locations.


Battery charge time is dictated primarily by type of battery and level of remaining charge.

Currently, locations and placement of EVCS are determined by private businesses and landowners, Local governments are adding charging infrastructure to promote economic development and tourism within their communities. In addition to current state efforts, the recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and eventual release of federal funding to states will enable WisDOT to more fully support efforts to create an EVCS network in Wisconsin.

In November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was signed, designating $7.5 billion to building out a national network of electric vehicle charging stations. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program lays the groundwork for how the formula funding portion of the funds will be designated.

The program is specifically intended to build out the electric vehicle charging system along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC). The current AFC system in Wisconsin includes I-90, I-94, I-43, I-41, I-535, US 53 and US 151. In the most recent AFC nomination process, Wisconsin nominated parts of US 51, WIS 29, US 2, and US 141, and all of US 8 and US 41.

Map depicting the WI alternative fuel corridors

In order to qualify for the funding, states are required to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan by August 1, 2022 to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). State Plans must describe how the State intends to use its apportioned NEVI Formula Program Funds. No NEVI Formula Program funds shall be obligated to a State until FHWA approves that State's Plan.

Wisconsin will submit the Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (WEVI) Plan to FHWA by the deadline.

The NEVI Formula Funds Program is anticipated to provide Wisconsin with $11.64 million for Federal Fiscal Year 2022 with increased amounts in the following years. The total Wisconsin anticipates receiving over the five-year life of the program is $78.65 million. WisDOT is exploring options for how to program NEVI funds.

NEVI Formula Funds Program timeline

The department's goal is to provide leadership in adapting the state's transportation infrastructure to provide seamless short- and long-distance EV travel in Wisconsin. The department will also work to develop preferred statutory and regulatory framework for transportation electrification. Efforts will focus on continued stakeholder collaboration, equity of integration across the state including urban, rural, suburban areas, and historically underserved communities as well as adapting the state's transportation infrastructure to advance electrified transportation.

Key to meeting these goals is:

  • Education, outreach, and collaboration: Collaborating with and listening to internal and external stakeholders including government, industry, and the traveling public.
  • Stewardship: Focus on strategic investments to maximize available funding and meet state needs.
  • Data-Driven Approach: Applying a data-driven approach to electrification deployment statewide.

Through these efforts, WEVI will describe a comprehensive plan for electrification of Wisconsin's transportation system. This will include:

  • Plan Vision and Goals:
    • Describe plans to support a convenient, affordable, reliable, and equitable statewide and national EV network specific to Wisconsin's geography, demographics and network. As the first of five annual plan iterations, this plan will provide five-year goals for program duration.
  • State Agency Coordination and Public Engagement
    • State Agency Coordination: Describe how WisDOT has coordinated with partner agencies in plan development and approval
    • Public Engagement: Discuss involvement of stakeholder groups in plan development. See section for more information and the section to submit comments to WisDOT.
  • Existing and future conditions analysis
    • identify existing conditions within the study area, within one travel mile of the AFCs, and discuss known risks and challenges for EV deployment.
  • EV charging infrastructure deployment
    • Discuss overall strategy for installations along designated corridors that prioritizes build-out along the AFCs with an emphasis on the Interstate Highway System.
  • Program Management, Contracting and Implementation
    • Describe how WisDOT will carry out the program including:
      • Include a strategy for achieving efficient delivery and deployment, and ongoing operation and maintenance
      • Contracting strategies should maximize federal funding
      • Discuss how WisDOT will include opportunities for small businesses
      • Implementation: include EV charging operations and maintenance programs, and EV charging infrastructure data collection and sharing
      • Identify installation, maintenance, and ownership responsibilities for charging infrastructure. Account for how these roles will ensure long-term station sustainability.
      • Demonstrate how implementation will promote strong labor, safety, training, and installation standards, and opportunities for small businesses.
      • Describe strategies for resilience during emergencies and extreme weather.
  • Civil Rights and Equity
    • Civil Rights: Discuss how planning and implementation will comply with State and Federal civil rights laws.
    • Equity Consideration: Describe how plan was developed through engagement with rural, underserved, and disadvantaged communities and stakeholders, including relevant suppliers and contractors. See our section for more information on these ongoing efforts.
  • Cybersecurity: Discuss plans to address cybersecurity, including plans to avoid compromising stations and vehicles during software updates.
  • Program evaluation: Describe schedule and plans to evaluate performance in achieving five-year plan vision and goals including monitoring metrics.
Evaluation timeline

Wisconsin's existing EVCS network is primarily privately owned. To see where EVCS are currently located, refer to the WisDOT Alternative Fuels webpage or the U.S. Department of Energy EVCS Locator.

WisDOT will collaborate with key stakeholders such as utilities, metropolitan planning organizations, regional planning commissions, labor and workforce, freight and logistics companies, and many others, including members of the public on transportation electrification. The department has established the following five objectives for public engagement:

  1. Identify and involve key stakeholder groups in the plan’s development
  2. Engage the public on preferred electric vehicle charging station locations, charging preferences, costs and future use of EVs
  3. Engage stakeholders to ensure EV charging infrastructure achieves equitable and fair distribution
  4. Ensure public participation opportunities are performed to facilitate an inclusive audience and accessibility
  5. Establish continuous public participation opportunities throughout the five-year EVCS infrastructure deployments

Below is an outline of projected stakeholder outreach in developing the required state plan to submit to our federal partners before the August 1, 2022 deadline:

  • March/April
    • Planning partners
    • Utilities
    • Electric Vehicle Charging Companies
    • Labor and Workforce
  • May
    • Planning partners such as local governments, RPCs, etc.
    • Stakeholder webinar: May 26, 2022 from10-11 a.m.
      • A recording of the May 26, 2022 webinar can be found here
  • June
    • Public webinar: Tuesday, June 21 at 5 p.m.
    • Public webinar: Wednesday, June 22 at 10 a.m.

The public webinars on June 21 and 22 will include the same information.

    • ​Stakeholder webinar: Tuesday, June 28 at 1 p.m.
      • ​A public viewing link is available here
      • The link for stakeholders to participate is available here​​​​

As WisDOT prepares its Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (WEVI) Plan, the department is seeking information from members of the public and stakeholders. If you have any questions or comments, please submit them through one of the options below.

The feedback form provides you with an electronic opportunity to propose an electric vehicle charging station location on an interstate.

https://www.pima.wisconsindot.gov/public/comment/project-comment-dynamic?project_id=14407

If you would like to email your comments, please direct them to:
transportationelectrification@dot.wi.gov

If you would like to mail your comments, please direct them to:
Transportation Electrification
WisDOT Division of Budget and Strategic Initiatives
P.O. Box 7910
Madison, Wi 53707-7910

WisDOT Resources

  • The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) publishes annual reports detailing vehicle registrations, including a report (#25) by fuel type and county. Find them at the link below.
    Wisconsin DMV Vehicle Information Reports
  • The DMV is responsible for the collection of motor vehicle fuel surcharges. To learn more about the surcharges, visit the link below.
    Wisconsin DMV Fuel Surcharge
  • To learn more about other alternative fuel sources, visit the link below.
    Alternative Fuel sources

State of Wisconsin Resources

Federal Government Resources

Contact:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Division of Budget and Strategic Initiatives
transportationelectrification@dot.wi.gov

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