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The Final Rules: National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program Summary

Thomas Boylan
Thomas Boylan
Thomas Boylan
February 21, 2023

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.

Consumer Experience

Charger Availability

  • Charging stations located along Alternative Fuel Corridors must be available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, year-round.
  • All other charging stations must be available at least as frequently as the business hours of the site host.
  • Each charging port must have an average annual uptime of at least 97%, with certain exclusions for maintenance, vandalism, natural disasters, and limited hours of operation.

Number of Charging Ports and Power Level

  • Direct-current fast chargers, or DCFCs, must have a continuous power delivery of at least 150kW and supply power simultaneously from each of the four minimum required ports at each site.
  • Each alternating current Level 2 charging port must have continuous power delivery of at least 6kW, and the charging station must be capable of providing power simultaneously across all ports.

Connector Type

  • Each DCFC charging port must be able to charge any Combined Charging System (CCS)-compliant vehicle.
  • Each DCFC charging port must have at least one permanently attached CCS1 connector.
    Each AC Level 2 charging port must have a permanently attached J1772 connector and must charge any J1772-compliant vehicle.

Communication of Price

  • The real-time price for charging must be displayed prior to initiating a charging transaction and be based on the price for electricity in $/kWh.
  • The price at the start of the session cannot change during the session.
  • Any other fees must be clearly displayed and explained.

Payment Methods 

  • Charging stations must provide a contactless payment method that accepts major credit and debit cards, payment methods must be accessible to people with disabilities, not require a membership, not affect the power flow to vehicles, and provide access for those that are limited English proficiency.

Safety and Security

  • States must implement physical and cybersecurity strategies consistent with their respective State Deployment Plans.

Customer Service and Data Privacy

  • States must ensure that EV charging customers have mechanisms to report outages, malfunctions, and other issues. 
  • Charging station operators must collect, process, and retain only the personal information necessary to provide the charging service to a consumer, including information to complete the charging transaction and to provide the location of charging stations to the consumer. 

Charger Installation, Operation, and Maintenance

Qualified Technicians

  • All electricians installing, operating, or maintaining EV charging equipment must either:

               - 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.

  • Non-electrical workers directly involved in the installation, operation, and maintenance of chargers must have graduated from a registered apprenticeship program or have appropriate licenses, certifications, and training as required by the State.

Interoperability

  • The final rule establishes interoperability requirements for charger-to-EV communication, charger-to-charger network communication, and charging network-to-charging network communication.

Use of Program Income

  • States are expected to ensure that all revenues received from operation of the EV charging facility are used only for:

               - 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.

Data Submittal

  • The final rule articulates a variety of data that states are required to collect from funding recipients and submit to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The frequency varies from quarterly to annually.

Third-Party Data Sharing

  • States must ensure that certain public data fields including charger location, charger characteristics (number of ports, types of ports, hours of operation, etc.), and pricing information is made available, free of charge, to 3rd-party software developers.

Long-Term Stewardship

  • States must ensure that EV chargers are maintained for a minimum of five years from the date of charger operation.
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About ZETA

National policies to support 100% electric vehicle sales.

The Zero Emission Transportation Association (ZETA) is a federal coalition focused on advocating for 100% EV sales. Enacting policies that drive EV adoption will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, secure American global EV manufacturing dominance, drastically improve public health, and significantly reduce carbon pollution.