U.S. DOT Calls For Comments About New Charging, Fueling Infrastructure Programs

The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests in the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure through a National Electric Vehicle Formula Program (EV Charging Program).

The law provides funding to States to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability.

Specifically, funds from the formula program need to be used to build out charging infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors.

The law also establishes a discretionary grant program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program) to strategically deploy publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors, along rural corridors and in underserved or disadvantaged communities, or in certain other locations.

Funds from the EV charging program can be used not just to acquire and install EV charging infrastructure but to operate and maintain it and to facilitate data sharing.

The federal government will pay 80 percent of project costs, and a private entity hired to do the work can pay the 20 percent match.

U.S. DOT wants this program to deploy publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure accessible to all drivers of such vehicles (Tesla’s charging stations are only available to Tesla drivers).

The law directs DOT, in coordination with the DOE, to develop guidance for both programs.

Last week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited public comments in Federal Register Notice: Development of Guidance for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment to inform the development of the guidance.

FHWA is especially interested in comments suggesting ways that the guidance could promote equity in the deployment of EV charging infrastructure under these programs.

FHWA has provided twelve statutory considerations for the EV Charging Program for which they are soliciting comments.

A significant concern for EMA is ensuring that small businesses can participate in the program and have reasonable access to the grant funding.

EMA’s Alternate Energy Task Force will review these considerations and EMA will provide comments before the January 28, 2022 deadline.

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