WASHINGTON, D.C.- On February 15, 2023, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation released the draft final rule for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Standards and Requirements. This new regulation sets minimum standards for federally funded EV infrastructure and implements the Build America and Buy America requirements governing the construction of 500,000 EV chargers across the nation by 2030.
NECA previously submitted comments on August 22, 2022, both independently and jointly with the IBEW on this proposed rule. Among other recommendations, NECA urged FHWA to ensure that the EV installations be completed by a well-qualified, highly skilled, certified, licensed, and trained workforce to increase the safety and reliability of EV charging stations nationwide.
The draft final rule, along with the implementation plan for President Biden’s EV charging Build America, Buy America requirements positions all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to build EV charging stations pursuant to their approved state charging plans developed under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. These standards will help to ensure that chargers operated by different networks will operate similarly, safely and be reliable. These standards will also require that chargers have consistent plug types and charging speeds, common payment systems, and accessible pricing information, locations, and availability. In addition, these standards establish strong workforce training provisions, and will create and support good-paying, highly skilled jobs in communities across the country where NECA contractors can bid on this work.
FHWA also announced that the new Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $2.5 billion over five years to a full range of applicants, including cities, counties, local governments and tribes. NECA contractors should be on the lookout for the $700 million in the next round of funding that will open soon, to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure across the nation, as this will result in major work opportunities for our contractors.
FHWA, in coordination with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, plan to conduct outreach and provide technical assistance via multiple webinars throughout February and March and will continue to provide direct technical assistance to support states and communities as they build EV charging infrastructure.
NECA will continue to release information and resources as implementation of this draft final rule goes into effect.