The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. The proposed rule would establish the groundwork for states to build federally-funded charging station projects across a national EV charging network.
No matter what kind of EV a user drives, inwhat state they charge, or into which charging company they plug, the minimum standards will ensure a unified network of chargers with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more. The standards also establish strong workforce requirements for installation, maintenance, and operations to increase the safety and reliability of charging station function and use.
Nearly $5 billion will be made available to states over the next five years under the new NEVI Formula Program to build out a national EV charging network. The proposed requirements will help states as they develop their EV deployment plans in concert with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which is providing direct technical assistance and support to help states with the $5-billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.
FHWA also released additional resources to help states successfully complete their deployment plans and access NEVI formula funding to build out the charging network. These resources include new NEVI formula program Questions and Answers and a new resource to help states, particularly rural states, evaluate the best locations for charging stations when it may not be possible to provide charging stations at the required 50-mile intervals.
Charging stations would be required to contain a minimum number and type of chargers capable of supporting drivers’ fast-charging needs. Additionally, FHWA proposed rules would require consistency regarding the installation, operation and maintenance of NEVI Formula Program projects to provide the traveling public with reliable expectations for their charging experience. The proposed rule would further specify the required minimum density of provided chargers, payment methods and requirements for customer support services.
Proposed rules will set strong certification standards for the workers installing, operating, and maintaining electric vehicle chargers, ensuring funds support good-paying, high-quality jobs and chargers are installed by a highly-skilled, professional workforce. The proposed rule will also support workforce development and on-the-job training.
Other proposed requirements would help create a seamless national network of EV charging infrastructure that could communicate and operate on the same software platforms from one state to another; address traffic control devices and on-premise signage; data submittal requirements to help create a public EV charging database; and network connectivity requirements to allow for secure remote monitoring, diagnostics, control, and updates.
Additionally, the FHWA proposes requirements that would standardize communication to consumers of price and availability of each charging station to help consumers make informed decisions about trip planning and when and where to charge their EVs.
The proposed rule is expected to publish in the Federal Register next week. A final rule may be published after FHWA has had the opportunity to review the comments submitted.
Additionally, the US Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with DOT through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, announced the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) Electric Vehicle Working Group (EVWG) to make recommendations regarding the development, adoption, and integration of electric vehicles into America’s transportation and energy systems.
The advisory group will consist of 25 representatives, Federal Government employees, and special Government employees (SGEs). The group will compile reports related to the adoption of electric vehicles for the Joint Office, determine how the Biden Administration will ensure the sustainable integration of electric vehicles into the electric grid, prepare the workforce for more electric vehicles and maintain global competitiveness in electric transportation infrastructure and technology. DOE expects to publish the member nomination process next week.