The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provides a historic influx of federal dollars for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Meeting the Biden administration’s goal of installing 500,000 EV charging stations will help electrify the transportation sector to fight climate change and improve local air quality; but paired with the right policies and strategic implementation, it should also create opportunities for good jobs. Establishing a safe and reliable nationwide network of EV chargers will require mass mobilization of, and investment in, the workers who will build, install, and maintain the EV chargers. With federal funds allocated from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, states have a unique opportunity to fund new green technology in communities but also ensure a skilled and localized workforce for the safe and effective construction of EV charging infrastructure.
With NEVI State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans due this summer, states will need to act quickly to identify strategies to support workers in installing EV charging infrastructure. The recommendations in this report support state transportation departments in their deployment of NEVI Formula Program funds in ways that both contribute to a robust and reliable nationwide network of EV charging infrastructure, and maximize benefits for impacted workers and disadvantaged communities. Through deployment of NEVI Formula Program funds, states can support workers with good wages and benefits, access to the training they need, and in safe and equitable work environments—from the manufacturing workers building the EV chargers, to the licensed electricians who will install, maintain, and operate them, to the non-electrician professionals who will service them to ensure maximum uptime.
By prioritizing disadvantaged communities, states can promote the benefits of federal dollars reaching those historically underserved and meet Justice40 equity goals. Without concerted effort to establish and protect a reliable and skilled worker pipeline that will support EV charging infrastructure, states will jeopardize the quality and reliability of their NEVI-funded EV chargers, undermine driver confidence in the feasibility of transitioning to EVs, and forgo significant benefits to workers and local economies. Taking these steps to support workers and disadvantaged communities will help ensure a more equitable expansion of EV infrastructure as states aim to curb climate change.