Today, the federal government’s Joint Office of Energy and Transportation opened applications for a $2.5 billion program to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure in underserved communities. The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program was authorized along with the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.
First, the Joint Office provides $700 million for EV chargers — but also other alternative fuels, including hydrogen and natural gas.
The CFI program actually includes two discrete $1.25 billion grant programs. The first is for community charging and fuel subsidies in both urban and rural areas, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods with a low proportion of private parking.
The other half of the money is for alternative fuel corridor grants, which will fund the deployment of EV chargers and other alternative fuel infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors.
“It is critical that we build a national charging network that provides EV drivers with the right type of charging in the right location – whether that’s high-energy charging on highway corridors and in urban hubs or Level 2 charging where EV drivers or drivers live, work, and play,” said Joint Office Executive Director Gabe Klein. “By working with cities and communities through the CFI program to get this mix right, we can ensure that everyone has convenient and affordable access to driving and going electric.”
As we explained recently, the $5 billion NEVI program for highway fast-charging infrastructure includes minimum standards for reliability and service that include a 97 percent plug-level uptime requirement. These minimum standards, as well as a “buy American” requirement, will also apply to anyone using CFI funds.
“The community grants provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will give states and localities the flexibility to quickly and sustainably deploy EV charging infrastructure in historically underserved communities. The projects supported by this funding will enable a significant expansion of the availability of charging for all Americans — especially in communities with high concentrations of multi-unit housing. We welcome this step by the administration and encourage applications for this important funding source that supports our path to a zero-emission future,” said Albert Gore, CEO for the Zero Emission Transport Association.