Powering Strong Communities

Federal Highway Administration Issues RFI For EV Grants Under Infrastructure Bill

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), part of the federal Department of Transportation (DOT), has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for two new programs aimed at supporting the spread of electric vehicles.

The National Electric Vehicle Program, or EV Charging Program, will provide funding to states to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to establish data collection, access and reliability.

The RFI also applies to the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program that aims to strategically deploy publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure in designated alternative fuel corridors.

Both programs are being created as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law in mid-November.

As a first step, the law directs DOT to coordinate and consult with the Department of Energy to develop guidance for the two new programs.

DOT’s Federal Highway Administration posted the RFI in the Federal Register on Dec. 1 to invite public comments that will inform the development of guidance for the programs.

FHWA said it is particularly interested in comments suggesting ways that the guidance could promote equity in the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure under the programs.

The new law “includes the largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate System, and the largest investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in history,” FHWA said in the RFI notice.

Specifically, FHWA said the new infrastructure law provides more than $350 billion over five fiscal years, from 2022 to 2026, for surface transportation programs, representing on an average annual basis nearly 29 percent more Federal-aid funding for highway programs and activities than under prior law and establishes more than a dozen new highway programs.

Among other things, the infrastructure law apportions a total of $2.5 billion for “charging and fueling infrastructure grants” between fiscal years 2022 and 2026.

The RFI comment period will be open for 60 days.

The American Public Power Association is currently evaluating the RFI.