Building EV Charging Stations with NEVI
What does NEVI mean for potential owners of charging infrastructure?
EVgo has heard a lot from potential EVgo eXtend customers with questions about public funding, specifically around NEVI (The “National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure” program). NEVI is a federal funding program created by the Bipartisan Infrastruction Law (BIL) and administered through state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) that will support up to 80% of the cost to own and operate fast chargers.
This means that for companies that want to work with EVgo to own public fast chargers at their locations, there is a brief window of time where federal funding will pay for the majority of your electric vehicle charging equipment, installation and electrical upgrade costs, and even, in some cases, part of its operational cost.
Chief Commercial Officer at EVgo, Jonathan Levy, testifying in front of Congress on a hearing about private sector infrastructure investments and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)
What kinds of funding are available?
There are three major groups of funding:
$5 Billion of “Formula Funding”, less federal administrative expenditures, is given to state DOTs to administer, essentially in two major categories.
Right now, states are all focused on deploying Phase 1 “Corridor” funding that emphasizes fast charging within one mile of designated interstate corridors. Funds are available in a competitive, time-limited programs as early as January 2023. Each state is responsible for releasing its own solicitation and competitive scoring criteria. This criteria can give additional points for things like 24/7 hour access to restrooms at the site, multiple amenities like restaurants or retail shopping, or building sites with more than the minimum number of chargers. Phase 1 will be completed when the entire corridor is “built out”*; it is not limited by budget or time.
* What does “built out” mean? Roughly, it means that there are four 150kW fast chargers every 50 miles along designated highways, but the details are still a little TBD. EVgo, among others, has asked that the federal administrators consider a corridor “built out” once an administrator has made enough awards to complete the corridor, unlocking funding for chargers beyond specified corridors. If they do, it could be as soon as Q3 2023 in some states – if not, as much as a year later.
Once the corridors are “built out,” the states can elect to move to Phase 2 “Community” charging plans. Basically, state funding administrators will be free to use the rest of their significant budgets as they see fit, subject to federal approval. As such, the timing and scale of these programs is yet to be determined.
Separately, there is another $2.5 Billion of “Discretionary Funding,” provided by the federal government directly to state and local government entities for clean transportation projects. Details of the discretionary funding opportunities are still to come, but we are keeping a close eye on this space as we anticipate that many of the government entities that apply for and receive discretionary funds will in turn use the funds to administer local charger deployment and development programs.
With a minimally compliant NEVI charging site costing approximately $500,000 - $750,000 in capital expenditures, $7.5 Billion in total BIL funding could support more than 10,000 fast charging locations. In the context of the nation’s existing fast charging network, that’s not incremental – it’s revolutionary.
Example of NEVI Likelihood Analysis
Illustrative example of preliminary NEVI eligibility analysis for fictitious customer with significant national footprint
How do I know if a site is NEVI eligible?
The Phase 1 corridors funding requires that sites be “within one mile” of certain designated corridors, and states are targeting 50-mile intervals between NEVI-compliant charging stations (i.e. four simultaneously operable 150 kW CCS ports).
What do I need to do and when?
Our best understanding of the NEVI timeline is below. The number one takeaway: It’s moving very quickly.
Today: Many states have developed relatively complete guidelines or standards for their programs. However, most have elected to hold the actual release of these details until they have more clarity on the final governing federal standards.
Minimum Federal Standards Released: EVgo’s best guess is that this will occur in January 2023. That will trigger near-same-day-release in many states, starting a 60-90-day countdown for applications to be submitted.
By the end of Q1 2023: The first state applications are due. The states will take varying amounts of time to evaluate applications.
Q2 / Q3 2023: States will begin announcing awards. Negotiation of contracts will likely take 1-2 quarters. States vary on their treatment of expenses incurred before award / contract start.
Q3 2023+: Build out of corridor stations.
2024 and beyond: Once corridors are “built out,” state administrators can turn funding to other locations (Phase 2) such as state highways, suburban and urban use cases, etc.
What will I need to apply?
As of today, most state programs are in their earliest days. That said, we think that there is a guide to follow from the first program released in Ohio, along with experience from other state’s incentive programs borne from the Volkswagen emissions scandal program often called Dieselgate.
By the time your application is due, we believe you will need to produce:
Site Budget: A high-level overview of site costs, including equipment, installation, networking, maintenance, etc.
Statement of Experience / Key Personnel Bios: Evidence of experience with EV supply equipment or other technology deployment and installation work is key here
Equipment Specifics: To provide a high-quality budget, and to verify compliance with items as varied as operating protocols and charging speed, we find most administrators require that you choose your equipment early in the process
Other: We’ve seen administrators requiring evidence of utility estimates or conversations with the utility regarding power availability, which can be highly difficult in the time allotted. Site layouts or early designs are another common request as they help to verify traffic flows, ADA requirements, etc.
I need help.
If you’re looking to own charging stations, EVgo combines deep policy expertise and our EVgo eXtend offering as a comprehensive solution. Our dedicated Market Development and Public Policy team has spent the last year providing feedback and developing market insights on draft state NEVI solicitations and future programs. EVgo’s public funding team has a track record of securing public funding for EV charging and has already reviewed every state NEVI plan to develop a winning strategy for EVgo and our partners. If learning federal regulation compliance and crafting 200+ page proposals isn’t what you love to do, then contact our team of experts and let us do what we do best!