The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) provides $7.5 billion for electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure funding.
National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program is estimated to provide the Department with $198 million over five years to address EV charging needs for passenger vehicles and light duty trucks. Funds may be used to purchase and install EV charging infrastructure, operating expenses, purchase and installation of traffic control devices located in the right-of-way, on-premises signage, development activities, and mapping and analysis activities.
Important requirements and considerations raised in the guidance include:
- The guidance is provided for passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks.
- EV charging infrastructure must be open to the public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company.
- EV charging must be located along a designated alternative fuel corridor.
- States must prioritize charging locations along the Interstate Highway System.
- EV charging should be spaced a maximum of 50 miles apart.
- EV charging locations must meet certain power capabilities.
- States should target rural, underserved, and disadvantaged communities for EV charging infrastructure.
- States should consider locations with publicly available restrooms, appropriate lighting, and sheltered seating areas.
Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan
On September 14th, 2022, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved FDOT's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan. Florida’s Plan is based on extensive community and stakeholder engagement including statewide virtual meetings, regional listening sessions, one-on-one stakeholder meetings, and a public comment period.
During the public comment period, the Department received more than 180 comments from a diverse group of stakeholders including state and local government agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, consultants, private industry, and the general public. Below is a list of the themes resulting from the public comment period and how they were addressed in the Plan.
Procurement Zones: Several stakeholders interpreted “zoned-based” procurement to imply that the Department will contract with a single entity within a designated zone. This was not the intent and all references to procurement zones were removed (Pages 4 and 20.) Since the type of procurement has not been determined, these sections were updated to discuss the how the Plan’s procurement strategies include transparent, market-based, competitive approaches that balances required regulations with customer experience.
Timeline: The Plan indicated chargers will not be installed until Year 2 of the program. Several stakeholders expressed concern about the deployment schedule and encouraged the Department to deploy chargers as quickly as possible. Page 4 where the timeline is discussed was updated to clarify Year 1 of the NEVI Program is underway. Florida will begin procurement and deployment as soon as the Federal government approves the Plan this Fall in Year 2 of the NEVI Program. Florida is being aggressive in our deployment schedule adding as many charges as quickly as possible.
Rural versus Urban Disadvantaged Communities: Stakeholders from the Southeast portion of the State expressed concerns the Plan focuses to too heavily on charging in rural areas. They believe higher traffic volumes and areas of the State with higher projected EV growth also have disadvantaged communities and should be specifically included. The current EV market has neglected Florida’s rural areas. The Plan does target rural areas to connect Florida’s urban corridors and spur economic growth. On Page 4, the goals were updated to include both rural and urban disadvantaged communities as targeted areas for enhancing Florida’s overall transportation system.
Power Standards: Stakeholders had conflicting views on power requirements for sites; some advocated for the NEVI requirement of 150kW while others recommended 350kW. This is another area where Florida supports the EV market through consumer choice. An action strategy was added on Page 20 to specify Florida will allow flexibility for vendors to propose sites based on market and community needs including provide charging above 150kW. By allowing applicants to propose higher level chargers where the market deems it reasonable, instead of requiring or limiting charging levels, will ensure the optimal use of tax-payer funding.
Workforce: All stakeholders who commented on workforce noted its importance. Some advocated for requiring certified and trained technicians while some expressed concerns over blanket requirements. FDOT understands the importance of a skilled and trained workforce to the successful implementation of this program. Page 24 was updated to acknowledge FDOT will work with its stakeholders to understand the unique needs the charging station development process to ensure any workforce requirements match the charging installation, maintenance, and operation needs.
Accessibility: Stakeholders pointed out the nuances of accessibility requirements and EV charging projects. Section 553.5041, Florida Statutes, pertaining to parking spaces for persons who have disabilities have different requirements than the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Most EV sites in Florida are simply adding charging stations to existing parking lots where site plans were previously engineered and approved. Therefore, many EV charging installations do not modify parking configurations, add additional ramps, or create new access paths. These adaptations would trigger a full site plan amendment and the potential requirement of new engineering for the parking lot. This is another area FDOT needs to work and understand its stakeholders to ensure the right balance between regulations and customer experience is met. On Page 25, where ADA requirements are listed as requirement, a reference to Section 553.5041, Florida Statutes, was included.
Gap Analysis for EV Fast Chargers
As part of the planning efforts for the Deployment Plan, initial investment areas for EV fast chargers were identified in the State through a gap analysis. Multiple factors were combined to find the areas around the State Highway System roadway intersections that had high potential to fill the gaps in the State’s EV network. This gap analysis also includes NEVI criteria to inform Plan development and to ultimately meet the NEVI program goals.
The following datasets were utilized in the gap analysis:
- Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) Stations
- AFDC Designated Alternative Fuel Corridor (ACF) Charging Stations
- AFDC Designated EV Corridors
- United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Interim Guidance Disadvantaged Communities Justice40
- PRISM Climate Group/Oregon State University Temperature and Precipitation Data
- FDOT Open Data Hub Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
These datasets were utilized to develop a gap analysis for EV fast charging locations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. The analysis is included in the Deployment Plan and is available here.
Request for Information
On June 6, 2022, the Department released a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback and recommendations for the planning, coordination, and development of EV charging infrastructure within the State of Florida. The RFI closed on June 28, 2022.
The purpose of this RFI was to collect input from potential market participants across varying sectors to obtain information on how to best support the deployment for direct current fast charge EV infrastructure.
Parties interested in obtaining the RFI responses may contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Proposed Rules and Waivers
On June 22, 2022, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the NEVI Formula Program. The standards and requirements proposed 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;
- information on publicly available EV charging infrastructure locations, pricing, real-time availability, and accessibility through mapping applications.
On August 31, FHWA published a notice of proposed waiver of Buy America requirements for EV chargers. The proposed new waiver would initially waive all Buy America requirements for EV chargers and all components of EV chargers that are installed in a project and then phase-out the waiver with two changes during calendar year 2023 and one change in January 2024. The proposed waiver is open for public comment through September 30, 2022.
Charging and Refueling Infrastructure Grant Program
The BIL provides $2.5 billion for competitive grants. The U.S. Department of Transportation will administer the competitive grants for installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, propane fueling infrastructure, or natural gas fueling infrastructure that is directly related to the charging or fueling of a vehicle. The competitive grants are divided into two categories, Community Charging and Corridor Charging.
Eligible entities for both the Community Charging and Corridor Charging include State or political subdivision of a State, Metropolitan Planning Organization, Local government, Special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, Indian Tribe, and Territory.
Community Grants provides $1.25 billion to install electric vehicle charging and alternative fuel in locations on public roads, schools, parks, and in publicly accessible parking facilities. These grants will prioritize rural areas, low-and moderate-income neighborhoods, and communities with low ratios of private parking, or high ratios of multiunit dwellings.
Corridor Grants provides $1.25 billion to deploy publicly available electric vehicle charging and hydrogen/propane/natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors.
Alternative Fuel Corridors
To be eligible for funding, EV infrastructure under the NEVI Program and the competitive Corridor Charging Grant Program must be located on a designated Alternative Fuel Corridor.
Below is a map of Florida’s current Alternative Fuel Corridors. In 2022, FDOT added over 4,000 miles (58 percent increase) to Florida’s Alternative Fuel Corridors. This represents a great opportunity to Florida’s communities to utilize all available funding to build a complete EV network in the State. For more information see FHWA’s website on designated Alternative Fuel Corridors.