New Standards for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network

On June 9th, 2022, President Biden announced new standards that will be implemented as part of the new National Electrical Vehicle Charging Network. The administration’s goal is to build 500,000 charging stations across the country and this effort will be funded using the $7.5 billion authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Department of Transportation, in collaboration with Department of Energy, would propose new standards guiding the implementation of this extensive network of charging stations. The two agencies were tasked to ensure the EV charging stations are installed through reliable national standards fortified by strong labor protections. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also established a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to work hand-in-hand with States, industry leaders, manufacturers, and other stakeholders to meet the President’s goals.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law authorized in total $7.5 billion, of which $5 billion would be distributed through formula funding to States (part of FAST Act reauthorization) and $2.5 billion in federal competitive grants to support community and corridor charging (that will be opening this year). The overall actions of the Bipartisan Infrastructure law would put a massive federal investment into EV charging network and also spur significant private investment equity as well.

They will also use workforce standards such as the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) to increase the safety and reliability of charging station’s functionality and usability – creating and supporting good-paying, highly-skilled union jobs in communities across the country.

Standards of EV Charging Network:

The administration set out on multiple paths of developing standards and guidance on the EV charging network.

1. Vice President Harris launched an EV Charging Action Plan that would fast track federal investments and specifically target equity benefits for disadvantaged communities such as rural communities, impoverished communities, and those significantly impacted by highways. The goals were to ensure they were able to afford the charging network and seamless integration between the larger infrastructure plan.

2. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (established by the BIL) announced the formation of a new Federal Advisory Committee that will make recommendations regarding the development, adoption, and integration of light-, medium, and heavy duty electric vehicles. The committee will comprise of 25 members and will begin in the coming months.

3. Department of Energy announced $45 billion through the new ‘EVs4ALL’ program that would help spur development for fast charging batteries to assist in the rollout of the charging network. DOE is also inquiring about funding upwards of $430 million in funding to support clean energy pilot programs and demonstration that target underserved and rural communities.

4. Department of Agriculture issued a EV Charging resource guide and funding guidance for rural communities, states, and owners. They also issued a climate smart schools guide that provides information and funding for charging rural schools and working with DOE of how to better increase critical EV equipment to rural areas.

5. General Services Administration established a blanket purchase agreement for all federal agencies to easily acquire EV chargers/equipment for federal owned, managed, and occupied facilities. In additional guidance they issued how to properly ensure building are reequipped to handle the additional load capacity. GSA is working with DOE to manage and bidirectional charging in their facilities. They are also agreed with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of having over 60 VA locations to install EV chargers in value upwards of $40 million.

6. National Park Service is beginning their national strategy of electrifying their fleet of cars and buses. They are working with DOT to also fill in charging station gaps at national parks.

7. Department of Housing and Urban Development is beginning to include EV charging stations as part as their overall green building standards and through their housing financing programs. HUD is also looking to amend the Green Mortgage Insurance Premium incentive to include EV chargers in multi-family rental housing and therefore lowering annual premiums.

8. Environmental Protection Agency through the Clean School Bus Program is replacing diesel buses with American-made, zero emission buses. EPA has already release $500 million of its $5 billion program to schools and allowed schools to build of EV charging station if need be.

9. Department of Defense launched a pilot program to install 20 Level 2 EV chargers for their government fleet at the Pentagon and exploring at other military installations. NECA is also working with Congress to authorize additional funding for military installations to begin the EV charging network.

10. Department of Commerce is also working with foreign allies and partners to have foreign investment into American EV charging and better the supply chain equipment. Commerce through their Manufacturing Extension Partnership will provide direct assistance to 51 centers (all 50 states) and Puerto Rico for any unmet needs for the EV supply chain.