PA Receives First $25.3 Million For Electric Vehicle Charging Investments From Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
On February 10, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Pennsylvania will receive the first $25.3 million from an estimated $171.5 million over the next five years to invest in electric vehicle charging stations along previously designated Alternative Fuel Corridors and Interstate lookalikes.
The funding is from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
PennDOT and DEP – following guidance issued from U.S. DOT – will collaborate with key stakeholders such as network companies, planning partners, and businesses on EV charging development.
The newly announced equity principles will help the department evaluate EV proposals in accordance with the federal guidance and fall into five categories:
— Make EVs more affordable;
— Make EV charging more accessible;
— Invest in fleet electrification;
— Invest in traditionally underserved, low-income, persons of color and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and
— Increase EV awareness, education, and technical capacity.
There are more than 23,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, more than double the roughly 9,700 that were registered in March 2019. Click Here for the 2021 update to DEP Roadmap To Increasing Electric Vehicle Use in PA.
State Application Process
States will have until August 1 to submit plans for how they will use the funding, with the Federal Highway Administration and Joint Office of Energy and Transportation planning to approve state plans by September 30.
A total of $5 billion was released by DOT nationwide as part of $7.5 authorized for EV charging infrastructure. The additional $2.5 billion will be in the form of two competitive grants for which entities can apply:
— The $1.25 billion Corridor Charging Grant Program will deploy EV charging infrastructure, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along Alternative Fuel Corridors.
— The $1.25 billion Community Charging Grant Program will deploy EV charging infrastructure, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure to communities.
EMA recently submitted comments to the Biden Administration after seeking input from EMA’s Motor Fuels Committee and Alternative Energy Task Force regarding its NEVI infrastructure related questions, specifically on how the programs should be administered, including criteria for locating EV infrastructure projects.
EMA urged the Biden Administration to establish safeguards to ensure small business marketers can access vital federal funds to advance alternative energy goals.
Specifically, EMA urged FHWA to ensure that 50 percent of the grant program funding be dedicated to small, independent fuel marketing businesses with less than 500 employees who can diversify and ensure consumers pay a competitive price for EV charging.
EMA stressed to FHWA that it makes more sense to locate new EV charging equipment at existing off-highway fuel retailer sites. These sites are ubiquitous, familiar to consumers and conveniently located at highway entrances and exits nationwide.
New EV charging sites are likely to be located further from highway exits and entrance ramps than consumers are ordinarily willing to travel.
The convenience of an EV charging station, already situated at highway entrance and exit ramps, along with the availability of restrooms, food, and drink, will prove far more desirable to travelers than EV charging stations located further down the road from the exit, without facilities or refreshments.
Finally, EMA reiterated its concerns that the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant Program could permit electric utilities to double dip – meaning they could charge their rate paying consumers to pay to expand EV infrastructure, while also taking grant money to subsidize the same projects.
An electric utility monopoly using ratepayers to install EV infrastructure hurts consumers by effectively blocking out competition.
Competition will ensure consumers pay a competitive price for EV charging and are ultimately serviced by the companies that provide the best customer experience.
In other words, utilities and non-utilities, including private businesses, should be on a level playing field when it comes to building out EV charging infrastructure.
— Click Here to read DOT’s published Program Guidance.
— Click Here to read DOT’s Request for Nominations for states to expand their existing Alternative Fuel Corridors.
— Click Here for a breakdown of funding each state is eligible for in FY22 and throughout the five-year life of the program.
— PG – Laura Legere: $25.3 Million Flow To PA To Build Electric Vehicle Charging Network On Interstates