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Another round of federal EV grants to fund existing EV charging options in 20 states

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The Biden Administration announced on Thursday that 24 recipients spread across 20 states will be given $150 million in grant funding to improve existing electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, making them more reliable, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

The grants will be used to repair or replace nearly 4,500 EV charging ports and, in some cases, bring them up to code, a USDOT news release states.

“These targeted investments complement the tens of billions in federal and private sector funding that is building out a national EV charging network, and support good-paying jobs across the country installing, maintaining, and repairing EV infrastructure,” USDOT said. “Today’s announcement is the latest milestone towards the president’s goal of bringing at least 500,000 public EV chargers online by the end of the decade.”

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg added, “The EV revolution is here. To make the most of it we must ensure that everyone, from the largest cities to the most rural communities, has access to reliable EV charging infrastructure. These grants bring us another step closer to a national EV charging network that keeps up with the EV transition that’s well underway.”

The funding is part of Biden’s “Investing in America” agenda and a new program within the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program that was created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. NEVI is a $5 billion program administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and supported by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to help states build out EV charging.

“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building an EV charging infrastructure that can power our clean transportation future,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, in the release. “These investments will ensure that Americans have a convenient and reliable experience when they charge their vehicles at public stations.”

Last week, the Biden administration announced it would award $623 million in grants to help build a nationwide network of 47 EV charging stations and related projects in 22 states and Puerto Rico, including 7,500 EV charging ports. The funding is the result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s $2.5 billion Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program. It also complements the NEVI formula program to build the “backbone” of high-speed EV chargers along the nation’s highways, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

The FHWA gave $311 million to 36 community projects for investment in charging and hydrogen fueling infrastructure in urban and rural communities including at convenient and high-use locations like schools, parks, libraries, multi-family housing, and more, USDOT said.

Program rules for the grants given this week stipulate that 10% be set aside for states or localities that require additional assistance to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure, according to USDOT.

“Increasing reliable access to EV charging is key to increasing EV adoption,” said US DOT Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “Today’s announcement is another investment in a national network that will be interconnected, interoperable, user-friendly, accessible, affordable, and reliable.”

Eligible applicants and projects for the EV Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator Program were outlined in a Notice of Funding Opportunity published in September 2023. For a full list of grant recipients, visit the FHWA website.

“Charging your electric vehicle should be as easy and convenient as filling up a gas tank – and these grants will help do that by making our EV charging network more reliable,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “We’re building a bigger and better EV charging network to keep up with driver demand, and we’re also ensuring the existing network works when you need a charge.”

EV sales have more than quadrupled and the number of publicly available ports has grown by more than 70% since Biden took office, according to the Biden Administration and USDOT.

USDOT said Thursday’s announcement builds on a series of EV-related actions taken by the Biden Administration:

    • December 2023: Ohio and New York opened America’s first EV fast charging stations funded through the NEVI Formula Program;
    • November 2023: FHWA approved all 52 state, territory, and district EV charging plans “unlocking approximately $615 million in FY24 NEVI formula funding to implement those plans;”
    • May 2023: The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation launched the National Charging Experience Consortium (ChargeX) with three national laboratories to “improve the existing charging experience,” and released its “Ride and Drive Electric” grants, which USDOT said will support workforce development, an equitable transition, and American-made EV chargers;
    • February 2023: FHWA, in coordination with the Joint Office, finalized standards to make charging EVs “convenient, affordable, reliable, equitable, and safe for all Americans – no matter what car you drive or what state you charge in;”
    • February 2023: The White House announced an implementation plan for Biden’s “Build America, Buy America” requirements that is meant to incentivize companies that invest in domestic production of EV charging components; and
    • September 2022: FHWA approved, with support from the Joint Office, all 52 EV charging plans from states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C. “unlocking approximately $1.5 billion in FY22 and FY23 NEVI formula funding that can be used to implement those plans.”

“Making it easy for everyone to ride and drive electric means making sure that drivers can always count on EV charging stations to work when they’re needed,” said Gabe Klein, Joint Office of Energy and Transportation executive director. “Repairing and replacing existing stations gives drivers the confidence they need to choose electric, complementing the buildout of much-needed, new infrastructure while creating good jobs across the country.”


Featured image credit: SouthWorks/iStock

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