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Nov 29 -- The recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests in the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure as one of many important ways to confront the climate crisis. Through a National Electric Vehicle Formula Program (EV Charging Program), the law provides funding to States to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability.  
 
The law also establishes a discretionary grant program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program) to strategically deploy publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors or in certain other locations that are accessible to all drivers of such vehicles.
 
The law directs DOT, in coordination or consultation with the Department of Energy (DOE), to develop guidance for both programs. Through this notice, FHWA invites public comments to inform the development of the guidance. FHWA is especially interested in comments suggesting ways that the guidance could promote equity in the deployment of EV charging infrastructure under these programs. Comments would be most useful if they are received on or before January 28, 2022 to allow for their consideration during development of the EV Charging Program guidance. FHWA will consider comments received after the due date to the extent practicable.
 
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directs DOT, in coordination with DOE and within 90 days of the law's enactment, to develop guidance for States and localities to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure through the EV Charging Program, based on the consideration of nine factors. The law also directs DOT, during the redesignation of alternative fuel corridors under 23 U.S.C. 151, to issue a report that summarizes best practices and provides guidance, developed through consultation with DOE, for project development of EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure at the State, Tribal, and local levels to allow for the predictable deployment of that infrastructure. The guidance we develop also may be relevant to EV charging infrastructure that receives funding from other Federal funding sources.

As we begin to develop the guidance for the EV Charging Program and for project development of EV charging infrastructure, and we prepare to implement the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program, FHWA requests comments and information from the public. In particular, FHWA requests comments to inform its development of the statutorily required EV Charging Program guidance. The statutory considerations for the EV Charging Program are:

1. The distance between publicly available EV charging infrastructure;

2. Connections to the electric grid, including electric distribution upgrades; vehicle-to-grid integration, including smart charge management or other protocols that can minimize impacts to the grid; alignment with electric distribution interconnection processes, and plans for the use of renewable energy sources to power charging and energy storage;

3. The proximity of existing off-highway travel centers, fuel retailers, and small businesses to EV charging infrastructure acquired or funded under the Program;

4. The need for publicly available EV charging infrastructure in rural corridors and underserved or disadvantaged communities;

5. The long-term operation and maintenance of publicly available EV charging infrastructure to avoid stranded assets and protect the investment of public funds in that infrastructure;

6. Existing private, national, State, local, Tribal, and territorial government EV charging infrastructure programs and incentives;

7. Fostering enhanced, coordinated, public-private or private investment in EV charging infrastructure;

8. Meeting current and anticipated market demands for EV charging infrastructure, including with regard to power levels and charging speed, and minimizing the time to charge current and anticipated vehicles; and

9. Any other factors, as determined by the Secretary. (In connection with question 9, please describe any other factors that you suggest that we consider in developing the EV Charging Program guidance.)

FHWA also requests comments to inform the implementation of the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program to provide discretionary grants for corridor and community charging. Specifically:

10. Please provide examples of best practices relating to project development of EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure at the State, Tribal, and local levels.

11. What topics do you suggest that we address in guidance on project development of EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure at the State, Tribal, and local levels to allow for the predictable deployment of that infrastructure?

12. Please provide any suggestions to inform the administration of competitive grants under the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program for corridor and community charging.

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Deployment RFI: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/11/29/2021-25868/development-of-guidance-for-electric-vehicle-charging-infrastructure-deployment

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