WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and White House today made a series of announcements that will shape the future of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the United States. Prominent among them is FHWA’s publishing of final minimum standards for agency-funded EV charging infrastructure, which will set the baseline for how states implement the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI). The NEVI program is a $5 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) laying the groundwork for a nationwide public EV charging network.
The agency also released guidance on how the Build America, Buy America (BABA) Act—which functions to onshore critical manufacturing supply chains to the U.S.—will apply to agency-funded EV chargers. Finally, the White House’s fact sheet lists a litany of new and upcoming awards, funding opportunities, and public and private investments in EV charging infrastructure, including $7 million in awarded planning and development grants for the installation of EV charging infrastructure specifically serving medium- and heavy-duty vehicles like trucks, buses, and delivery vans.
The standards and guidance codify several policies that the BlueGreen Alliance called for in comments on the initial NEVI program guidance, including:
A clearly charted course toward Buy America compliance for all FHWA-funded EV charging infrastructure, beginning with a requirement that effective immediately, all FHWA funded EV chargers must undergo final assembly in the United States;
A requirement that all workers installing, maintaining, and operating the electrical components of EV charging infrastructure receive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program certification or U.S. Department of Labor certified equivalent; and
The establishment and protection of training opportunities for new career entrants in the EV charging industry through the required use of apprentice electricians for agency-funded projects requiring more than one electrician.
Following the announcements, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Executive Director Jason Walsh:
“The NEVI Program, in combination with all the other investments and awards announced today, represents a giant leap forward in building the charging infrastructure we need to achieve EV deployment and climate goals. These minimum standards and BABA guidance reflect the Biden administration’s commitment to building this industry to create and protect good jobs manufacturing EV chargers and their components here in the United States. And in a way that benefits the workers and local communities who will bring that infrastructure to life.
“We look forward to working closely with FHWA, the Joint Office, and State Departments of Transportation to see that federal investment in EV charging leaves no opportunities for workers and communities untapped.”