Biden Administration takes steps to boost deployment of EVs, chargers

April 27, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
April 27, 2021

The Biden Administration on April 22 unveiled a series of actions intended to accelerate deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) and chargers.

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation announced the fifth round of “Alternative Fuel Corridors” designations.

This program, created by the FAST Act in 2015, recognizes highway segments that have infrastructure plans to allow travel on alternative fuels, including electricity, a White House fact sheet noted.

The first four rounds of designations included portions of 119 Interstates and 100 U.S. highways and state roads. Round five includes nominations from 25 states for 51 interstates and 50 U.S. highways and state roads.

The cumulative designations (Rounds 1-5) for all fuel types (electric, hydrogen, propane, natural gas) include 134 Interstates and 125 U.S. highways/State roads, covering almost 166,000 miles of the national highway system in 49 States plus the District of Columbia.

Of that total, the Federal Highway Administration has designated EV corridors on approximately 59,000 miles of the NHS in 48 states plus DC.

The DOT also issued a new report clarifying how its programs can be used for EV charging infrastructure. Many existing programs have this as an eligible use and this guidance can expand how many funded entities take advantage of that, the White House noted. “This could increase the use for EV charging infrastructure of $41.9 billion in federal grant funding in 15 specific programs,” the fact sheet said.

Department of Energy

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced new research funding opportunities on three EV charging related topics:

  • $10 million to research, develop, and demonstrate innovative technologies and designs to significantly reduce the cost of electric vehicle supply equipment for DC Fast Charging that will be needed in large number to support high volumes of EVs;
  • $20 million to accelerate the adoption of commercially-available plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and supporting infrastructure through community-based public-private partnerships that demonstrate PEV technologies (for cars, buses, school buses, trucks) and infrastructure in various innovative applications and share resulting data, lessons learned and best practices with a broader audience; and
  • $4 million to encourage strong partnerships and new programs to increase workplace charging regionally or nationally which will help increase the feasibility of PEV ownership for consumers in underserved communities

DOE and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) also announced a national EV charging technical blueprint including fast charging and grid interaction. This blueprint will assess needs in terms of connectivity, communication, protocols from utility down to vehicle, to support electrification of the full vehicle fleet.

In addition, DOE announced that the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is partnering with global and domestic automakers to analyze anonymous vehicle charging data that describe market-level trends of operation and charging behavior for a large sample of U.S. consumer EVs.

To guide this work, DOE, INL, and automakers formed a working group to provide feedback on INL analysis and modeling efforts.

Biden American Jobs Plan includes investment in EVs

In his American Jobs Plan, President Biden proposed a $174 billion investment in EVs.

Among other things, the plan calls for establishing grant and incentive programs for state and local governments and the private sector to build a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030.

APPA offers resources to members on EVs

The American Public Power Association offers a wide range of resources to its members related to EVs.

For additional information, click here.