FHWA Issues Proposed Rulemaking on Electric Vehicle Charging Standards

The Federal Highway Administration on June 9, 2022, issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to set proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.

The Federal Highway Administration on June 9 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to set proposed minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. 

The NPRM was issued along with a series of EV-related announcements from the Administration, including the formation of a new EV working group under the Joint Office of Transportation and Energy as well as new resources for states to guide the development of their EV implementation plans. 

States are set to receive $615 million in FY2022 and a total of $5 billion over the next five years under the NEVI Formula Program established by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. State implementation plans are currently due to U.S. DOT by August 1. 

Currently, there are no national standards for the installation, operation, or maintenance of EV charging stations, and wide disparities exist among EV charging stations. 

The Infrastructure law establishing the NEVI program required that standards be set related to six areas. Among them, the proposed requirements would standardize communication to consumers of price and availability of each charging station. 

Requirements also focus on installation, operation, and maintenance by qualified technicians of EV infrastructure; Interoperability of EV charging infrastructure; traffic control devices and on-premise signs acquired, installed, or operated; data requested related to a project funded under the NEVI Formula Program, including the format and schedule for the submission of such data; and network connectivity of EV charging infrastructure. 

FHWA will issue a final rule following a public comment period. 

In its June 9 Fact Sheet, the Administration reiterated that its “federal charging programs were designed to catalyze additional private sector investments that complement the build-out of a user-friendly, cost-saving, and financially sustainable national EV charging network.”

The Charge Ahead Partnership, of which NATSO is a member, issued a statement to media urging regulators developing standards for the program (and state officials developing implementation plans) to incentivize the long-term private investment that is necessary to expand the EV charging footprint throughout the country. 

In announcing the proposed rulemaking FHWA also released additional resources to help states complete their deployment plans, which are currently due August 1 to the federal government, and access NEVI formula funding to build out the charging network. 

These resources include new NEVI formula program Questions and Answers and a new resource to help states, particularly rural states, evaluate the best locations for charging stations when it may not be possible to provide charging stations at the required 50-mile intervals. 

The Administration further announced that the new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation will form a new Federal Advisory Committee called the EV Working Group to “make recommendations regarding the development, adoption, and integration of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty electric vehicles into the transportation and energy systems of the United States,” including on infrastructure topics. 

The 25 members will be selected in the coming months.

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