Arkansas to receive $54 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure
The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy announced Thursday (Feb. 10) nearly $5 billion will be used to build a national electric vehicle charging network. The money will be distributed to states over five years and comes from the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Arkansas is eligible to receive up to $54.12 million for projects that relate to the charging of an electric vehicle and support electric vehicle charging infrastructure. According to a news release, Arkansas has 490 miles of pending and ready electric vehicle corridors.
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program was established by the new infrastructure law and is expected to help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors, particularly along interstates. Under the program, $615 million will be made available in fiscal year 2022. States must submit an electric vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan before they can access the money. A second, competitive grant program will be announced later this year that is expected to increase electric vehicle charging infrastructure in locations throughout the country, including in rural and underserved communities.
“A century ago, America ushered in the modern automotive era; now America must lead the electric vehicle revolution,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help us win the EV race by working with states, labor and the private sector to deploy a historic nationwide charging network that will make EV charging accessible for more Americans.”
“We are modernizing America’s national highway system for drivers in cities large and small, towns and rural communities, to take advantage of the benefits of driving electric,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is helping states to make electric vehicle charging more accessible by building the necessary infrastructure for drivers across America to save money and go the distance, from coast-to-coast.”
States are required to submit the electric vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan to the new Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. The plan must describe how the state intends to use its share of the program funding consistent with Federal Highway Administration guidance. The plans are expected to build on Alternative Fuel Corridors that nearly every state has designated over the past six years.
According to the release, the corridors “will be the spine of the new national EV charging network. The Joint Office will play a key role in the implementation of the NEVI Formula Program by providing direct technical assistance and support to help states develop their plans before they are reviewed and approved by the Federal Highway Administration, which administers the funding.”
The release also shows the Federal Highway Administration released the NEVI Formula Program funding to states that will be available following approval of state plans for fiscal year 2022 along with program guidance and a request for nominations for states to expand their existing Alternative Fuel Corridors.
“Americans need to know that they can purchase an electric vehicle and find convenient charging when they are using interstates and other major highways,” said Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack. “The new EV formula program will provide states with the resources they need to provide their residents with reliable access to an EV charging station as they travel.”