First round of $2.5B EV charging network funding open to applications

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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced it is accepting applications for a new multi-billion program to fund electric vehicle (EV) and alternative fueling infrastructure Tuesday.

The $2.5 billion program, called the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program, would fund EV charging and alternative vehicle-fueling infrastructure projects by cities, counties, local governments, and Tribes across the country over the next five years. This initial round of funding makes $700 million in allocations from fiscal years 2022 and 2023 available to deploy charging and fueling infrastructure in publicly accessible locations in urban and rural communities, as well as along the Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) being established across the country.

“By helping bring EV charging to communities across the country, this Administration is modernizing our infrastructure and creating good jobs in the process,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “With today’s announcement, we are taking another big step forward in creating an EV future that is convenient, affordable, reliable, and accessible to all Americans.”

The announcement is a major step in creating a national network of 500,000 public EV charging stations and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent by 2030, officials said.

Established as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CFI Discretionary Grant Program would require EV chargers to adhere to National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program standards published by the Federal Highway Administration that support a consistent charging experience for users and ensures the national charging network is accessible and equitable, regardless of where consumers live.

“Extending EV charging infrastructure into traditionally underserved areas will ensure that equitable and widespread EV adoption takes hold,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said. “Ensuring that charging stations are more visible and accessible in our communities addresses the concerns many American drivers have when considering making the switch to electric.”

Officials said the CFI Discretionary Grant Program is designed to award competitive grants to projects that will fill the gaps in the national charging and alternative fuel infrastructure and to build out charging in communities. One of the program’s priorities is to bring EV charging into urban and rural communities in addition to the designated alternative fuel corridor. The program is divided into two grant funding categories – $1.25 billion for the Community Program, which funds projects deploying publicly accessible alternative fueling infrastructure into communities, and $1.25 billion for the Corridor Program, which funds projects deploying publicly accessible alternative fueling stations along the Alternative Fuels Corridors.

“FHWA is committed to helping towns and cities, large and small, build modern, sustainable infrastructure that promotes equity and opportunity for their local economies and net-zero emissions for the nation by 2050,” Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt said. “By encouraging the adoption and expansion of EV charging and alternative fuels, CFI Program investments have the potential to significantly address the transportation sector’s outsized contributions to climate change.”