White House Briefing on Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook: Electric Vehicles (EVs)

February 22, 2022

 

Stephanie Sykes, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure Implementation

A few weeks ago, the White House released a guidebook for state and local governments as a resource for stakeholders and is intended as a roadmap, and it contains the most comprehensive information the White House has to date on the more than 375 programs in the bipartisan infrastructure law. President Biden and the entire team here have made it a priority to make sure that we’re giving all the resources that are needed to make sure that this money hits the ground and reaches all corners of this country. Over $90 billion has been announced, allocated, or headed to states Territories, and local governments. There’s been some key plans and offices that have also been announced. The White House has also announced some public notice periods and that covers a lot of different areas, including clean energy, electric vehicles that will be discuss today. high-speed internet grid modernization lead pipes and paint orphan wells, and most recently, a Great Lakes Restoration announcement.

Florence Chen, Associate Director, Infrastructure Implementation at the Department of Transportation

DOT has more than $660 billion divided over five years, across all modes of transportation. Some programs can fund the electrification of our transportation system to send an especially exciting opponent for law because it provides us with a unique offering. Integrate electrification, electric chargers, and electric vehicles. Not only into our federal infrastructure investments as soon as our vision, the future of the transportation system.

Andrew Wishnia, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy, Department of Transportation

There is upwards of seven and a half-billion dollars’ worth of opportunities, including $5 billion for a formula program that’s specifically dedicated to scaling out Evie charging infrastructure across the country. The formula funds go out to State Departments of Transportation (DOT) and then those State DOTs at their discretion. Work with the private sector to make sure that these dollars are used efficaciously and imprudently to scale up the right kind of charging infrastructure in the right kinds of locations, including in disadvantaged and in rural locations.

In addition to the $5 billion, there are also two and a half billion dollars that will be tagged later this year for discretionary grants that include charging and fueling grants or so-called “Community charging,” that’s located off the interstate and potentially the national highway system, as well as corridor charging, which will supplement the current formula program paradigm as the Federal Highway Administration in conjunction with the Department of Energy in the joint program office.

Michael Berube, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Sustainable Transportation, Office of Energy Efficacy and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy

The government and private sector are working together to transform the future of travel. People want to see a national coast-to-coast charging network to have the confidence for those trips they take well to know that most of the charging they do will be in communities. The program is built to address all those points create that national backbone of a network, give people the confidence intervals longer trip. States have been provided with a vast amount of guidance for states that do not have a plan for electrifying their state, and for the states that do have a plan to help them evaluate.

The Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Recycling and 2nd Life Applications program receives $200 million worth of funding. This program will be important once the country develops its domestic battery supply chain. 40-50% of new battery materials can come from recycled batteries and therefore the program is vital.

Bruce Robinson, Associate Administrator for Program Management, FTA

The low no mission grant program is not new, but it’s grown substantially under the bipartisan infrastructure Law. Last year there was about 180 million available for the program. And FY22 over 1.1 billion available for the program over the five years at the 5.6 billion total. The program funds capital expenses to replace, rehabilitate purchase, or lease buses and bus-related equipment or the infrastructure needed for the buses including charging infrastructure or fueling stations. Some of the changes for the program are now that 25% of the program is set aside for non-zero emission vehicles so that about 280 million out of the 1.1 billion would be for CNG natural gas vehicles habit electrics and so forth. but the recipe for zero-emission, which is generally battery-electric buses or hydrogen fuel cell buses. The program also sets aside within our grants 5% of the grant funding will be used for expenses related to workforce development unless the applicant certifies that the funds that the full 5% of the funds aren’t needed because they have other methods or ways to carry out that workforce development.

The next program is a new program the Electric or low-emitting Ferry Program is authorized for 250 million or 50 million per year. The term electrical lamenting ferry means a ferry that reduces admissions by using alternative fuels or onboard energy storage systems and related charging infrastructures to reduce emissions.

Morteza Farajian, Executive Director, Build America Bureau

The Bureau provides technical assistance to those who want to look at innovative project delivery models, innovative financing options. The Burau has a couple of new grant programs also that will provide external technical assistance, which is called TIFIA, RRIF, and PABs. The programs can be used with grants or without grants, and there is a lot of flexibility. Eligible TIFIA financing programs include EV charging infrastructure, electric public vehicles and charging infrastructure, EV charging infrastructure (for private vehicles) eligible as part of any FTA joint development project, EV charging infrastructure at intermodal freight transfer facilities, EV charging infrastructure at passenger or freight railroad stations and yards, electric ground-support vehicles, electrical connections and infrastructure for powering waterborne vessels at maritime ports, and electrical ground-support vehicles and charging infrastructure. Eligible RRIF financing programs include electric ground-support vehicles and charging infrastructure at passenger or freight railroad stations and yards, intermodal facilities, and maritime ports. PABs financing programs include qualified highway projects or surface freight transfer facilities (that receive title 23 or title 49 assistance) with EV elements including acquisitions of EVs, delivered through a P3 model.

Q&A:

Cheng asked are there any opportunities specifically targeting smaller cities with less resource capacity. Wishnia said cities have opportunities or localities, territories, tribes, those are all afforded opportunities and eligibilities as part of the two and a half billion dollars that we have for discretionary grants that will come out later this year.

Cheng asked if funding includes ongoing maintenance and operations does it include funding for paying for salaries for staff. Wishnia said the current funding provides allowances and eligibilities for maintenance and staff support. The EV infrastructure deployment plan includes staff funding.

Cheng asked if the quality of the grid has been assessed when adding all these new programs. Berube said that the grid and the programs and their stress on the grid have been looked at. There are some programs like the bus charging programs that will have to be managed especially the load and the ability of the grid the large program is operating on.

Cheng asked how private partners can work with federal and state officials for the next steps with the charging station. Berube said most of the corridor projects will be developed by private companies and not state entities. The states will provide support, but the states will not own any of the charging infrastructures and will use the RFP process. Farajian said private entities can finance programs in a private-public partnership format. Some programs provide a resource to public partners that are looking to get into the space.

Cheng asked how can existing EV charging projects receive new program funding money. Wishnia said that old charging infrastructure. that’s probably going to be some of the most expeditious ways of getting charging infrastructure. Those programs will have additional eligibility. Berube said that historic investments are happening across this entire bill and making it easy to upgrade current projects is a viable pathway.