The transportation sector is the United States’ largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 27% of emissions. Transitioning America’s gas-powered cars to electric vehicles (EVs) is an important step toward reducing emissions – and a robust network of public chargers is a prerequisite to support this transition. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program, which authorizes $5 billion to support the installation of public EV fast charging stations along highways to make finding a charge as easy as filling up at a gas station.
In this blog, we go into further detail about unlocking the EV charging infrastructure funds through NEVI and additional considerations for managing the energy spikes associated with the energy demands of EV charging. We also discuss how an energy partner can help streamline the application and development process for your organization. Organizations should be aware upfront that if you are an eligible site host, there may be opportunities to secure EV chargers for free and for the NEVI application process to be managed on your behalf.
An overview of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program
The NEVI program directly supports the transition to cleaner transportation options by building a strong nationwide backbone of public EV fast chargers. NEVI is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), which provides $5 billion from 2022 to 2026 – with $1 billion available each year – to support the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M) of EV charging infrastructure. The program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, with significant health benefits for communities nationwide.
According to a set formula, NEVI allocates funding to the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Under the formula, each state and territory receive a share of NEVI program funding equal to its share of the combined amount that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) distributes in federal and territory-specific highway program funding. The first year of NEVI funding for all applicants was approved in late September 2022, with funding estimates currently available from 2023 to 2026. See the figure below for each state and territory’s approved 2022 NEVI allocations.
Approved 2022 NEVI allocations by state
Source: Federal Highway Administration
NEVI program eligibility details
Because NEVI supports the national build-out of EV charging infrastructure, proposed EV fast charging projects must be located along designated highways and be publicly accessible. Some good candidates for sites with public access include: gas stations and convenience stores, event venues, grocery stores, hotels, parking lots and garages, restaurants, shopping centers, and transit centers. Specifically, a proposed site has to be:
- Located along a FHWA-designated Alternative Fuel Corridor
- Located no more than 50 miles from another NEVI-compliant EV charging site
- Located no more than 1 mile from an interstate exit or highway intersection
- Open to the public or authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company
- Able to simultaneously charge four EVs at 150 kW each (e.g., have a station power capability of no less than 600 kW)
NEVI funding can cover up to 80% of the costs associated with installing and operating an EV charger, including:
- Upgrade of existing and construction of new EV charging infrastructure
- Operation and maintenance costs of EV charging stations
- Installation of on-site electrical service equipment
- Community and stakeholder engagement
- Workforce development activities
- EV charging station signage
- Data sharing activities
- Related mapping analysis and activities
These specifications create the opportunity to include complementary energy assets in the host’s funding application, like solar and battery storage as part of EV charging infrastructure to implement a more holistic transportation energy transition roadmap.