Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – Electric Vehicles, Buses and Ferries

Points of Contact:
Jennifer Larkin Lukawski, Principal,
William Crozer, Vice President and Managing Director of State and Local Advocacy,
Chay English, Vice President,

Investment and Jobs Act
Electric Vehicles & Electric Buses and Ferries
Topline Funding: $15 billion
Provides $7.5 billion (B) for alternative fuel corridors and to build out a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the country. Includes $5B for the replacement of existing school buses with zero emission and clean school buses, with a priority on low income, rural, and Tribal schools. Provides $2.5B for state and local governments to replace existing ferries with low carbon ferries and to assist states with operational costs for essential rural ferries.
Contains several non-funding related items, including:

  • Establishes a 25-member EV working group, which will be led by the U.S. Secretaries of Transportation and Energy, to provide federal guidance and strategy for the development, adoption, and integration of electric vehicles into the U.S. transportation and energy systems; the working group will report to Congress “on barriers to electric vehicle adoption and possible opportunities and solutions” and other matters.
  • Directs states to consider measures to promote greater electrification of the transportation sector, including the establishment of rates that promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options, improve the customer experience associated with EV charging, accelerate third-party investment in public EV charging, and recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to EV and EV charging infrastructure.
  • Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study on the cradle-to-grave environmental impact of EVs, no later than 120 days after enactment.

Authorizes a total of $7.5B for charging and fueling infrastructure along the national highway system, $5B of which is allocated over a five-year period beginning in 2022 to carry out a National Electric Vehicle Formula Program (“EV Program”). The EV Program will provide states, local governments, and other public transportation entities with funding for the implementation of EV charging infrastructure and the creation of an interconnected network to “facilitate data collection, access, and reliability”. Funds will be provided to states on a proportionate basis calculated in the same manner as is used for allocation of other federal highway formula funds to the states.
$2.5B is allocated over five years for a new Highway Trust Fund financed Alternative Fuel Corridor grant program (“AF Corridor Program”) to support the deployment of publicly accessible alternative fuel (EV, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas) charging infrastructure along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. Initially designated as part of a pilot program under the FAST Act, Alternative Fuel Corridors are intended to facilitate long-distance, electric-powered travel by installing accessible charging stations along heavily traveled corridors. Fifty percent (50%) of the amount made available in each year is reserved for community grants (not to exceed $15 million (M) each) with a priority on building charging infrastructure in rural areas or low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and communities with low ratios of parking spaces to households or high ratios of multi-unit houses to single family households.
The Secretary of Transportation is directed to develop within 180 days of enactment minimum standards and requirements related to the “installation, operation, or maintenance by qualified technicians of electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” “the interoperability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” and “network connectivity of electric vehicle charging infrastructure” among other requirements. The bill does not specify how these standards should be established.
Agency of Jurisdiction: U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) – Federal Highway Administration (FHA)– Refueling America
Eligible Grantees: A state or political subdivision of a State; a metropolitan planning organization; a unit of local government; a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority; an Indian tribe; a U.S. territory; state or local authority with ownership of publicly accessible transportation facilities.
Timing: The Secretary of Transportation has up to one year to establish grant program to finance the deployment of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure ~$1B to be made available immediately to states under EV Program based on federal formula. Competitive grant funds could take upwards of a year to implement.
Federal Cost-share: The federal cost-share for a project funded under EV Program cannot exceed 80%. States are permitted to use the funds provided under the EV Program to contract with a private entity for the acquisition and installation of EV Charging Infrastructure, and the private entity is permitted to pay the applicable state’s share of the cost of a project funded under the EV Program.
Notes: Federal funds may be used to provide only “non-proprietary charging connectors” and “open access to payment methods that are available to all members of the public” to provide the maximum access and interoperability, rather than on exclusive technology that would benefit specific vehicles or payment platforms.

CLEAN & ZERO-EMISSIONS SCHOOL BUSES (“CLEAN SCHOOL BUS PROGRAM”)Authorizes $5B over five years for a new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean School Bus Program to replace the existing fleet of diesel-powered school buses with clean school buses and zero-emission school buses. Half of the funding will be utilized for zero-emission buses, while the other half will be utilized for alternative fuels and zero-emission buses. Grants could cover up to 100% of the costs of replacing existing school buses, and for charging or fueling infrastructure. Section also increases funding under section 5339(a), which provides grant funding for low emission buses, from $1.75M to $4M. Also amends section 5339 to raise the rural set-aside in section 5339(b) – “Buses and Bus Facilities” competitive grant program – from 10% to 15%.

Agency of Jurisdiction: EPA – Reducing Diesel Emissions from School Buses
Eligible Grantees: A state government entity responsible for providing school bus service to one or more public school systems or for the purchase of school buses.
Timing: An education and outreach program to promote and explain the award program no later than 120 days after the date of enactment. Additionally, a report providing updates on the implementation of the program will be due to Congress no later than January 31 of each year.
Federal Cost-share: N/A
Notes: EPA must prioritize applicants that serve a high-need local educational agency, a school funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or a local educational agency that receives a basic support payment for children who reside on Indian land. Priority would also be given to applicants serving rural or low-income areas, and applicants that secure additional funding through public-private partnerships, other grants, or school bonds.

Authorizes $1B over 5 years ($200M per year) to be provided for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to ensure basic essential ferry service to rural areas. Ferry services that received apportioned Highway Trust Fund monies are not eligible to receive funding from this program in the same fiscal year.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Accessing Americas Treasures
Eligible Grantees: A ferry service that operates a regular schedule at any time during the 5-year period ending on March 1, 2020 and serves no less than two rural areas located more than 50 sailing miles apart.
Timing: Immediately.
Federal Cost-share: The federal share cannot exceed 85% for the retrofit or replacement of a diesel fuel ferry that provides substantial emissions reduction.

Authorizes a new five-year $250M pilot program to provide grants to state and local governments to purchase electric or low-emitting ferries and to electrify or otherwise reduce emissions from existing ferries. Low-emitting ferries can include those using methanol, natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, hydrogen, coal-derived liquid fuels, and biofuels. Also creates a new five-year $1 billion program for states to establish a “Basic Essential Ferry Service” to rural areas (population less than 50,000)
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Taking Stock: Climate Change and Transportation
Eligible Grantees: States are the principal grantees.
Timing: Funds are authorized and appropriated at $50M a year for fiscal years 2022- 2026.
Federal Cost-share: The federal cost share cannot exceed 85% for the retrofit or replacement of a diesel fuel ferry that provides substantial emissions reduction.
Notes: The Secretary shall ensure that not less than one grant under this section shall be for a ferry service that serves the State with the largest number of Marine Highway System miles; and not less than one grant under this section shall be for a bi-State ferry service— (A) with an aging fleet; and (B) whose development of zero and low emission power source ferries will propose to advance the state of the technology toward increasing the range and capacity of zero emission power source ferries.

Authorizes $1.25B over five years for the Passenger Ferry Grant Program, which provides competitive funding for projects that support passenger ferry systems in urbanized areas.
Agency of Jurisdiction: DOT – FTA – Passenger Ferry Grant Program
Eligible Grantees: Funding is available to designated recipients, eligible direct recipients of Section 5307 funds, States and federally recognized Tribes that operate a public ferry system in an urbanized area.
Timing: Funds are to be authorized immediately for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2026.
Federal Cost-share: The federal share cannot exceed 80% of the net project cost for capital expenditures.