The U.S. Energy Department has announced that it will be extending a loan guarantee program to make charging facilities and related hardware and software eligible for funding. The program provides up to $5.4 billion to support projects that promote renewable and efficient uses of energy.

During the announcement, the White House also unveiled a partnership consisting of close to 50 automakers, utilities and EV charging companies that will work together to increase the number of charging stations. Companies contributing to the effort include BMW AG, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co, General Motors Co, Nissan Motor Co, Tesla Motors Inc, Consolidated Edison Inc and Duke Energy Corp.

During a call with the media, senior advisers noted that the total number of EV charging stations now stands at 16,000, compared to 500 units in 2008.

In 2008, the Obama administration set a goal of having 1 million plug-in vehicles in use by 2015. To date, about 475,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the U.S.