Going Green by Growing EV Charging
The Biden-Harris Administration today announced more than two-thirds of Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Deployment Plans from states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been approved ahead of schedule under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, established and funded by President Biden’s 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.
The NEVI formula funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes $5 billion available over five years. Moreover, it will help build a convenient, reliable, and affordable EV charging network across the country. In addition, faster adoption of electric vehicles is a critical part of the nation’s climate goals, as transportation currently accounts for more than a quarter of all emissions. Therefore, approved Plans are available on the FHWA web site and funding tables for the full five years of the NEVI Formula program can be viewed here.
U.S. Transportation Service and Secretary of Energy say:
“Today, with funding in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are taking an important step to building 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.”
“Making electric vehicle charging accessible to all Americans is critical to achieving a transportation sector that improves our environment and lessens our dependence on oil and gas,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This first group of 35 plans from States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico now have the green light to build their pieces of the national charging network to ensure drivers can spend less on transportation costs while commuting confidently by charging along the way.”
Implementing the plan
Prior to today’s approval, State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) were able to begin staffing. That’s in addition to activities directly related to the development of their plans. After plan approval, states can be reimbursed for those costs.
Therefore, they now have a wide range of options to use their NEVI Formula funding. For example, projects directly related to the charging of a vehicle, which could include the upgrade of existing and the construction of new EV charging infrastructure. Not to mention the operation and maintenance costs of these charging stations. It also includes the 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.
Moreover, proposed standards for EV charging 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.
“Thanks to the commitment of state leaders who worked hard to develop EV charging networks that work for their residents, we were able to approve these state charging plans quickly and ahead of schedule,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “We are reviewing the remaining plans and on track to finish the process by our target date of September 30, if not sooner. Our shared work to bring President Biden’s vision for a national electric vehicle network to communities across America is too important to wait.”
The following 35 plans submitted by States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico make up the first group to have their NEVI EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans approved by the USDOT:
|District of Columbia||Montana||South Dakota|
The NEVI formula program is just one type of funding available to advance our electric vehicle future as part of President Biden’s economic agenda. Additional funding sources include:
The Inflation Reduction Act
This will bring down the sticker price of electric vehicles. Ultimately providing Americans tax credits to purchase new and used electric vehicles. That’s in addition to making an additional $3 billion accessible to help support access to EV charging. Moreover, for economically disadvantaged communities through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant Program.
The CHIPS and Science Act
This act will bolster U.S. leadership in semiconductors. Moreover, providing $52.7 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce development. Therefore, this includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, including $2 billion for the legacy chips used in automobiles.
This means 10 percent of the NEVI Formula Program that is set aside each fiscal year for the Secretary of Transportation to fill gaps in the national network through discretionary grants.
The $2.5 billion Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure
This will ensure charger deployment meets the Biden-Harris Administration priorities. That includes equity commitments for increasing EV charging access in rural, underserved and overburdened communities.
The cumulative $7 billion in funding to support an end-to-end domestic supply chain for domestic EV battery manufacturing
This is available through the Department of Energy. In addition, the Federal Highway Administration has reviewed State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans in close coordination with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. Moreover, they are working to approve all plans as quickly as possible. The remaining plans will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis as the plan approvals are finalized. As a plan is approved, State DOTs will be able to access funding. That funding will develop their EV charging infrastructure through the use of NEVI Formula Program funds.
NEVI Formula Program
FHWA is also working on related efforts to establish ground rules for how formula NEVI funds can be spent. FHWA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the NEVI Formula Program and plans to finalize that rulemaking expeditiously now that the comment period has closed. Moreover, FHWA is proposing a Buy America waiver. It will allow a short ramp-up period for the domestic manufacturing of EV charging. The comment period for the waiver proposal is open through September 30, 2022.
The Federal Highway Administration and the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation will continue to provide direct technical assistance and support to States. That’s as they review and approve plans, as well as throughout the lifetime of the NEVI Formula Program. For more information on the NEVI Formula program, please visit FHWA’s NEVI website and DriveElectric.gov. Moreover, for more information on President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and investments in electric vehicles, please visit FHWA’s BIL website.