As one of the results of the $1-trillion infrastructure bill signed into law in November, the Biden Administration released an EV Charging Action Plan to outline steps federal agencies are taking to support developing and deploying chargers across the country.
The infrastructure law calls for a network of 500,000 public chargers and make EVs accessible to all Americas for both local and long-distance trips. The law includes $5 billion in formula funding for states with a goal to build a national charging network of 500,000 public chargers; 10% is set-aside each year to provide grants to States to help fill gaps in the network.
The law also provides $2.5 billion for communities and corridors through a competitive grant program that will support innovative approaches and ensure that charger deployment meets Administration priorities such as supporting rural charging, improving local air quality and increasing EV charging access in disadvantaged communities.
Elements of the Action Plan include:
New Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. The Biden Administration is establishing a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, leveraging the resources of the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation. The Joint Office will ensure the agencies can work together to implement the EV charging network and other electrification provisions in the law. This is intended to provide states, communities, industry, labor, and consumer groups with a coordinated Federal approach and a “one-stop-shop” for resources on EV Charging and related topics.
Stakeholder input. The White House is convening a series of initial stakeholder meetings on topics including partnerships with state and local government, domestic manufacturing, equity and environmental justice, civil rights, partnering with tribal communities, and maximizing environmental benefits. DOT and DOE will also launch a new Advisory Committee on Electric Vehicles and is targeting to appoint members to this committee by the end of the first quarter of 2022. DOT released an updated guide to deploying EV Charging in highway right-of-way in response to stakeholder interest. To gather input from the widest possible array of stakeholders, DOT has a new EV Charging Request for Information, where stakeholders can submit their priorities for Federal standards and guidance for consideration.
Guidance and Standards for States and Cities. The Administration is a developing the guidance and standards described in the law. No later than 11 February 11th, DOT will publish guidance for States and cities to deploy EV charging stations strategically to build out a national network along the highway system. This guidance will look at where EV charging already exists and where more is needed. No later than 13 May 2022, DOT will publish standards for EV chargers in the national network to ensure they work, they’re safe, and they’re accessible to everyone.
Requesting Information from Domestic Manufacturers. EV charger manufacturing, assembly, installation, and maintenance all have the potential to not only support our sustainability and climate goals, but also to drive domestic competitiveness and create jobs in the United States. DOT and DOE are working directly with manufacturers, automakers and labor to understand what domestic sourcing is available today, and what may be possible in the future. In November, DOT and DOE released a request for information from domestic manufacturers to identify EV chargers and other charging related components that meet USDOT Buy America requirements and to highlight the benefits of shifting all manufacturing and assembly processes to the United States.
New Solicitation for Alternative Fuel Corridors The DOT announced a forthcoming solicitation for the sixth round of Alternative Fuel Corridors designations. This program, created by the FAST Act in 2015, recognizes highway segments that have infrastructure plans to allow travel on alternative fuels, including electricity. FHWA will establish a recurring process to regularly update these corridors.
The current network of more than 100,000 public chargers operates with different plug types, payment options, data availability, and hardware hookups. The Administration intends to establish a more uniform approach.