Federal-Level EV Infrastructure Funding Begins
In mid-September, the White House announced that more than two-thirds of Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment Plans from states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, had been approved ahead of schedule under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.
NEVI was established and funded by the recently-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. “With this early approval, these states can now unlock more than $900 million in NEVI formula funding from FY22 and FY23 to help build EV chargers across approximately 53,000 miles of highway across the country,” said the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
Now, with funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, “(W)e are taking an important step to build a nationwide electric vehicle charging network where finding a charge is as easy as locating a gas station,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With the first set of approvals we are announcing today, 35 states across the country, with Democratic and Republican governors, will be moving forward to use these funds to install EV chargers at regular, reliable intervals along their highways.”
Prior to the mid-September approval, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) were able to begin staffing and activities directly related to the development of their plans. After plan approval, states can be reimbursed for those costs and now have a wide range of options to use their NEVI Formula funding for projects directly related to the charging of a vehicle, which could include: upgrade of existing, and construction of new, EV charging infrastructure; operation and maintenance costs of these charging stations; installation of on-site electrical service equipment; community and stakeholder engagement, workforce development activities; EV charging station signage; data sharing activities; and related mapping analysis and activities.
Proposed standards for EV charging will require electricians working on EV charging infrastructure installation to be certified through the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program, a non-profit, industry-recognized training program.
The following 35 plans submitted by states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, make up the first group to have their NEVI EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans approved by the USDOT. They are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The NEVI formula program is just one type of funding available to advance the nation’s move toward EV. A related funding source is the $2.5 billion Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure, which will ensure that charger deployment will meet White House priorities, including equity commitments for increasing EV charging access in rural, underserved, and overburdened communities.