In February 2023, the Biden-Harris administration announced final standards and requirements for states under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, or NEVI. Created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021, the NEVI program allocates $5 billion over five years to states to facilitate the buildout of a national electric vehicle (EV) charging network:
The standards are the end product of a lengthy dialogue between the U.S. Department of Transportation and key stakeholders and will significantly increase consumer access to EV charging stations. Upon enactment of the IIJA, ZETA regularly engaged with the Department of Transportation to help inform these standards and we believe they will ensure an accessible, convenient, equitable, and reliable consumer charging experience – a critical advancement in promoting vehicle electrification. The NEVI program will undoubtedly play a key role in meeting the administration’s goal of electrifying and decarbonizing the transportation sector.
Electric car and light truck sales are rapidly increasing, with Bloomberg reporting that 13.2% of new cars sold globally in the first half of 2022 were electric, up from 4.3% in 2020 and 8.7% in 2021. But to reach the EV-curious consumer that still has reservations about making the switch to electric, the charging network deployed under the NEVI program will go a long way toward reducing range anxiety and providing confidence that drivers won't be left chargeless away from home.
The NEVI program creates a framework under which states will distribute federal funding to projects, provided they meet the criteria articulated in the standards. In September 2022, all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia received approval for their EV charging deployment plans, which cumulatively cover nearly 75,000 miles of highway. NEVI compliments the ongoing work at the state and local level by building out a standardized network of EV chargers spaced no more than 50 miles apart along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. These corridors generally track with the U.S. interstate highway system and will ensure long-distance drivers have reliable access to EV charging stations.
While the NEVI funding will accelerate EV charging deployment, the country isn’t starting from scratch. As of February 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center has mapped out more than 50,000 individual charging locations with the cumulative capacity to charge more than 130,000 EVs when accounting for individual charging ports across locations. These numbers will increase rapidly in the coming months and years as NEVI-funded projects are built, meaning President Biden’s goal of building 500,000 EV chargers by 2030 could be well within reach.
Below is an outline of key provisions in the final NEVI rule.
Number of Charging Ports and Power Level
Communication of Price
Safety and Security
Customer Service and Data Privacy
Charger Installation, Operation, and Maintenance
- Be certified by the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program, or
- Graduate or possess a continuing education certificate from a registered apprenticeship program for electricians approved by the Department of Labor in consultation with the Department of Transportation.
Use of Program Income
- Debt service with respect to the EV charging station project.
- reasonable return on investment of any private person financing the project, as determined by the State.
- Necessary improvements and maintenance of the station, including reconstruction, resurfacing, restoration, and rehabilitation.
Third-Party Data Sharing