The federal charging infrastructure investment included in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law moved a step closer to reality, as the US Departments of Transportation and Energy released some details of the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.
The NEVI Formula Program will provide a billion bucks per year for the next five years to help states deploy public EV charging stations. Each state must submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan to become eligible for the funds.
The new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation has launched a new web site, DriveElectric.gov, where state officials and companies can find the information needed to get the funding ball rolling.
As always, the details will be hashed out by lawyers and alphabet soup experts. However, the broad outlines of the NEVI program at the moment appear to be to be that the federal government will cover 80% of the cost of approved projects, which must generally be located along “designated alternative fuel corridors.” The funds can be used to contract with private entities, which can also pay for the non-federal share of a project.
Significantly, the NEVI Formula funding can only be used for “projects that are directly related to the charging of a vehicle and only for EV charging infrastructure that is open to the public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company.” The funds cannot be transferred to other highway programs.
A separate program, the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure grant program, will provide $2.5 billion in competitive grants aimed at deploying chargers in rural and disadvantaged communities. According to the Federal Highway Administration, these grants could also be used for hydrogen, propane and natural gas fueling stations. Details of this program will be released later this year.
“A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help us win the EV race by working with states, labor, and the private sector to deploy a historic nationwide charging network that will make EV charging accessible for more Americans.”
The White House has recently been touting more plans to increase the availability of charging infrastructure. President Biden recently attended a ribbon-cutting for charger manufacturer Tritium, which plans to build a manufacturing facility in Lebanon, Tennessee that will produce up to 30,000 Buy America-compliant DC fast chargers per year, and create 500 local jobs.