The US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently issued a notice seeking public comment on two new electric vehicle (EV) programs that will receive funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021.
The IIJA establishes two new programs aimed at expanding access to public vehicle charging infrastructure—the National Electric Vehicle Formula Program (National EV Program) and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure discretionary grant program (Grant Program). These programs reflect a broad national investment in EV charging infrastructure and the Biden-Harris administration’s desire to promote EV purchases and ownership, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
National EV Program
The IIJA allocates $5 billion through 2026 for the National EV Program, which will provide funding to US states to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability. The funds are reserved specifically for the acquisition and installation of EV charging infrastructure, but data collection concerning EV charging infrastructure is also a key focus of the program.
The Grant Program extends $2.5 billion in funding to an array of vehicle fueling technologies through 2026. The goal of the Grant Program is to strategically deploy publicly accessible EV charging, hydrogen fueling, propane fueling, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors or other locations that will be accessible to all drivers of electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas vehicles.
Under the Grant Program, competitive grants will be made available to eligible public or private sector entities and awarded competitively based on consideration of a number of factors, including the proposal’s ability to decrease traffic congestion, meet excess demand, or accelerate the construction of charging or fueling infrastructure.
Submitting Comments on the Programs
Interested parties in affected sectors—such as those in the energy, transportation, and automotive industries—should consider submitting comments on the implementation of these programs. The FHWA has requested that any comments include the following:
- Specific reference to the section number of the IIJA addressed by the submission
- Detailed description of the action FHWA should take in response to the opportunity or challenge identified
- Detailed information the FHWA should consider while implementing the provision(s)
Comments on these new programs can be submitted through the federal government’s submission portal. The notice does not provide a submission deadline, but notes that the FHWA will issue guidance and begin other activities related to implementation while the docket remains open.