NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — North Dakota will use nearly $26 million in federal funding over the next several years to build a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

“Under the new transportation bill there was a program set aside for every state in the nation plus U.S. territories and it put funding towards electric vehicle charging locations,” said Jennifer Turnbow, deputy director for planning with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The federal government wanted all departments of transportation in each state to create a network of charging stations for electric vehicle drivers, who want to travel for long distances.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation’s plan calls for 18 charging stations to be spaced along I-94 and I-29.

“North Dakota’s two alternative fuel corridors are I-94 and I-29,” said Turnbow. “So those alternative fuel corridors need to be the first corridors where the electric vehicle charging location will be. “

The charging stations will be spaced about 50 miles apart and located within a mile of an exit along the two interstates.

However, before the state can begin building, the Department of Transportation must have its plan approved.

“Since we had to submit to the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy, they will have to give us approval for the plan and so once we do have approval, then we can start moving towards some sort of implementation,” said Turnbow.

Charging your car won’t be free. There will be a fee, but that fee is still unknown at this time.

“There is a lot to work out regarding that and some of the goals of the program,” said Turnbow.

State transportation officials are hopeful that the plan will be approved by federal officials in September.