- Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg announced the first 35 states to receive money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) signed into law by the end of 2021.
- The law approves a total of $5 billion to spend on electric vehicle chargers over five years, and that includes installation, maintenance, and other services to keep things working.
- Under the BIL funding formula, Texas could get the lion’s share of the EV infrastructure pie, followed by California and Florida.
The federal government has been talking for almost a year now about the $5 billion it will spend on improving electric vehicle infrastructure in the U.S. At the Detroit auto show today, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced the first 35 states to have more than $900 million in funding approved for an EV charger that will cover 53,000 miles of highways across the country.
“Today, with funding in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, we are taking an important step towards building a national electric vehicle charging network where finding a charge is as easy as finding a gas station,” Buttigieg said, according to prepared remarks. In the first set of agreements we’re announcing today, 35 states across the country — with Democratic and Republican governors — will move forward to use these funds to regularly and reliably install EV chargers along their highways.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL) that President Biden signed into law in November 2021 covers a total of $7.5 billion for EV chargers and other alternative fueling facilities. Five billion of which is allocated for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI). Under the NEVI program, states can receive funding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for up to 80 percent of the cost of an eligible project.
What’s the Money for?
Eligible fees here mean pretty much anything related to getting EV chargers on the ground, including the “acquisition, installation, and network connection of EV charging stations,” for example, as well as maintaining those stations once they’re up and running. NEVI also wants to make long-term EV charging station data more shareable, and any government funds should be spent on charging stations that are non-proprietary and allow open access payment methods. Stations must also be publicly available (or available to commercial drivers from more than one company) and installed along the designated FHWA Alternative Fuels Corridor (AFC). In short, this money is meant to help as many EV drivers as possible find a place to charge.
Today’s announcement covers only the first two-thirds of the planned EV infrastructure deployments of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More EV replenishment funds are still to be announced, as $900 million represents money from fiscal years 2022 and 2023, and the NEVI program continues through fiscal year 2026.
Texas Support Funding Formula
The five-year NEVI program divides money by state using a funding formula that will see 12 states raise more than $100 million in funding, with Texas the state that will get the most here. While any applications from Texas have yet to be approved, Lone Star State is allocated more than $407 million in the NEVI formula. The second-placed state, California, could raise more than $383 million, and Golden State has approved its initial funding request. Third-place Florida, which earned $198 million overall, has also been approved.
“California is ahead of the game,” said Scott Painter, CEO of California-based EV company Autonomy. Car and Driver. “It already has the most EVs on the road and 30 percent of all public EV chargers. So it’s no surprise that Texas, given its size, population, and highway miles, is getting a big bite out of funding. EV charging infrastructure to date tends to follow state EV registration and support. Federal funding and distribution will help even out EV adoption by states and reduce reach anxiety which is one of the keys to consumer adoption.” You can see full list of approved states here.
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