The plan to build a national network of 500,000 charging stations for electric vehicles across the US is taking shape. The US Department of Transportation and Energy announced it will provide nearly $5 billion in funding over five years to strategically deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability.
The US Departments of Transportation and Energy run the new scheme as ‘National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program’ which builds on the already designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, i.e. envisions EV charging stations to be installed along the Interstate Highway System. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) allocates $1 billion in funding every year from 2022-2026.
• For Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) only, BIL sets aside up to $300 million, which may be transferred to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), to establish such Joint Office and carry out its duties.
• For each of FY22-26, after the set-aside listed above, BIL sets aside 10% of NEVI Formula funding for grants to States and local governments that require additional assistance to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure.
• Allows Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to use up to 1.5% of annual NEVI Formula funds for FHWA’s operations and administration
The total amount available to states in Fiscal Year 2022 under the NEVI Formula Program is $615 million. To help ensure a convenient, reliable, affordable, and equitable charging experience for all users, each state must submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan to the new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation that describes how the state intends to use its share of NEVI Formula Program funds consistent with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) guidance. These plans are expected to build on Alternative Fuel Corridors that nearly every state has designated over the past six years of this program. The project eligibility conditions are as follows:
• The federal cost-share for a project may not exceed 80 percent. Private entity may pay the non-federal share of the cost of the project.
• NEVI Formula funding is to be used on 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.
• NEVI Formula funding is to be used for the acquisition and installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to serve as a catalyst for the deployment of such infrastructure and to connect it to a network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability.
• EV charging infrastructure projects acquired or installed with NEVI Formula funding be located in general, along a designated alternative fuel corridor or if a State determines, and the Secretary certifies, that all designated alternative fuel corridors in a State are fully built out, on any public road or in other publicly accessible locations.
• The strategic deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure must consider connections to the electric grid, including electric distribution upgrades; vehicle-to-grid integration, including smart charge management or other protocols that can minimize impacts to the grid.
• The deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure must consider the need for publicly available electric vehicle charging infrastructure in rural corridors and underserved or disadvantaged communities.
• The deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure must consider meeting current and anticipated market demands for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including with regard to power levels and charging speed, and minimizing the time to charge current and anticipated vehicles.
A second, competitive grant program designed to further increase EV charging access in locations throughout the country, including in rural and underserved communities, will be announced later this year. The grant funds are to be used to contract with a private entity for acquisition and installation of publicly accessible alternative fuel vehicle charging and fueling infrastructure that is directly related to the charging or fueling of a vehicle. Eligible entities may use a portion of grant funds to provide a private entity operating assistance for the first five years of operations after infrastructure installation. 50 percent of the total program funds will be made available each fiscal year for Community Grants, to install charging infrastructure in locations on public roads, schools, parks, and in publicly accessible parking facilities. These grants will be prioritized for rural areas, low- and moderate income neighborhoods and communities with low ratios of private parking or high ratios of multiunit dwellings.
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