The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, sponsored by the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will provide $5 billion in funding for states to establish an interconnected network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations over the next five years beginning in 2022, with $1 billion in funds being dispersed each of those five years. This funding comes out of the much larger $1 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed back in November 2021.
The EV charging stations must be (1) nonproprietary, (2) publicly available or available to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company and (3) be located along interstate highways. The FHWA must distribute the NEVI Formula Program funds made available to it each fiscal year, through 2026, so that each state receives an amount equal to the state FHWA funding formula determined by 23 U.S.C. § 104. To receive funding, each state must submit a plan describing how it intends to distribute the NEVI Formula Program funds.
A DEEPER DIVE
On September 14, 2022, the Biden-Harris administration announced approval of 35 states’ plans, amounting to the first $900 million in US federal funding to build EV charging stations under the NEVI Formula Program. The approved funding comes from the allotted NEVI Formula Program funds to be disbursed throughout fiscal years 2022 and 2023. The FHWA expects to complete its review of the remaining states’ plans by September 30, 2022.
In addition, the Biden-Harris administration signaled that there would be an allotment of $2.5 billion in grants to be utilized for funding EV charging infrastructure in economically disadvantaged communities, rural towns and urban neighborhoods. Further, the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 earmarks $3 billion for not only widespread EV adoption, but also ensuring that charging stations are located in underprivileged communities.
The NEVI Formula Program funding is designed to help build up to 500,000 EV chargers across approximately 53,000 miles of highway throughout the country. The proposed guidelines would require states to build at least one four port fast-charging station every 50 miles (some states may receive exemptions for a limited number of rural areas), with each station located within one mile of an off ramp. The program is designed to ease EV purchasers’ anxiety surrounding range capability on long road trips throughout the United States.
State DOTs were permitted to begin projects prior to approval. The recently approved funds may be used to reimburse the states for funds already spent on their respective projects, in accordance with their submitted plans. Eligible costs under the NEVI Formula Program includes almost any cost associated with getting chargers in the ground.
States and Territories with approved plans include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
States that have submitted plans that have yet to be approved include Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming.