Powering Strong Communities

Biden Administration Proposes Minimum Standards Tied To National EV Charging Network

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration on June 9 announced a notice of proposed rulemaking on proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program.

“These minimum standards will help ensure our national EV charging network is user-friendly, reliable, and accessible to all Americans, and interoperable between different charging companies, with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more,” the Department of Transportation noted in a news release.

The proposed rule would establish the groundwork for states to build federally funded charging station projects across a national EV charging network.

The minimum standards are intended to ensure a unified network of chargers with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more.

The notice of proposed rulemaking notes that the standards and requirements proposed would apply to:

  • The installation, operation, or maintenance of EV charging infrastructure;
  • The interoperability of EV charging infrastructure;
  • Traffic control device or on-premises signage acquired, installed, or operated in concert with EV charging infrastructure;
  • Data, including the format and schedule for the submission of such data;
  • Network connectivity of EV charging infrastructure; and
  • Information on publicly available EV charging infrastructure locations, pricing, real-time availability, and accessibility through mapping applications.

The American Public Power Association (APPA) will review the NOPR and solicit feedback from members.

The news follows the announcement earlier this year of nearly $5 billion that will be made available to states over the next five years under the new NEVI formula program, established by the infrastructure law, to build out a national EV charging network. 

The proposed requirements will help states as they develop their EV deployment plans in concert with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, which was established by the infrastructure law and is providing direct technical assistance and support to help states with the $5 billion NEVI program.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with the Department of Transportation, through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, on June 6 announced the Federal Advisory Committee Act Electric Vehicle Working Group to make recommendations regarding the development, adoption, and integration of electric vehicles into America’s transportation and energy systems.

The advisory group will consist of 25 representatives, federal government employees and special Government employees.

The group will compile reports related to the adoption of EVs for the Joint Office, determine how the Biden Administration will ensure the sustainable integration of electric vehicles into the electric grid, prepare the workforce for more electric vehicles and maintain global competitiveness in electric transportation infrastructure and technology, according to the Department of Transportation.

A White House fact sheet noted that the joint office announced a partnership to support EV charging with APPA, Edison Electric Institute, and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to inform electric system investments and support state planning.

The infrastructure law also provides $2.5 billion in competitive grants to support community and corridor charging, improve local air quality, and increase EV charging access in underserved and overburdened communities.  

The Department of Transportation will open applications for this program later this year.