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On June 9, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a notice of proposed rulemaking to set minimum standards and requirements for projects funded through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (“NEVI”), which was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  Generally, NEVI will distribute $1 billion per year, for FY 2022-2026, in appropriations to help fund the construction of EV charging stations and related infrastructure.  States, territories, Indian tribes, and local governments are all eligible to receive funds.  The NEVI program envisions that these government actors will contract with private entities in public/private partnerships to build the EV infrastructure. See our prior blog post for more details about the NEVI funding program.  The purpose of the rule is to “establish the groundwork for states to build federally-funded charging station projects across a national EV charging network.”  In addition, the rules purpose is to set “minimum standards [that] will ensure a unified network of chargers with similar payment systems, pricing information, [and] charging speeds.”

The proposed rules are broken down into the following six categories.

  1. Installation, operation, and maintenance by qualified technicians of EV infrastructure
    1. There must be a minimum number and type of chargers capable of supplying electrical charge through prescribed standard charging points.
    2. Minimum density of provided chargers.
    3. Standard payment methods.
    4. Standard customer service.
    5. Minimum skill, training, and certification standards for technicians.
    6. Certification of charging equipment.
    7. Security of chargers.
    8. Long-term stewardship.
    9. Privacy of customer data.
  2. Interoperability of EV charging infrastructure
    1. Proposing “a seamless national network of EV charging infrastructure that can communicate and operate on the same software platforms from one State to another.”
  3. Traffic control devices and on-premise signs acquired, installed, or operated
    1. Traffic control devices and on-premise signs must comply with the requirements in the Manual Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways.
  4. Data requested related to a project funded under the NEVI Formula Program, including the format and schedule for the submission of such data
    1. Quarterly, States must submit data to identify charging station use, reliability, maintenance, and installation cost information.
    2. Annually, States must submit identifying information about organizations operating, maintaining, or installing electrical vehicle supply equipment along with information about any certifications of these entities through State or local business opportunity certification programs.
    3. Annually, States must submit reports describing community engagement activities conducted in accordance with State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans.
  5. Network connectivity of EV charging infrastructure
    1. Connectivity for charger-to-charger network communication, charging network-to-charging network communication, and charging network-to-grid communication.
    2. Standards to allow for secure remote monitoring, diagnostics, control, and updates.
    3. Require chargers to be capable of smart charge management and Plug and Charge capabilities by requiring the ability to communicate through Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) in tandem with ISO 15118.
  6. Information on publically available EV charging infrastructure locations, pricing, real-time availability, and accessibility through mapping applications
    1. Standardize communication to consumers of price and availability of each charging station.
    2. States would be required to ensure that basic charging station information (such as location, connector type, and power level), real-time status, and realtime price to charge would be available free of charge to third-party software developers through application programming interface.
    3. Public transparency process when a non-government party sets the EV charging prices.

The proposed rules also highlight the administration’s goal of advancing environmental justice by engaging with low-income, rural and urban communities when determining where to build EV charging stations. These communities stand to benefit the most from reducing emissions rates because historically, “innovations in clean energy and transportation have not been deployed evenly across communities.”

Comments on the proposed regulations are due August 21, 2022.

The post Biden-Harris Administration Announce New Proposed Rules for National Electric Vehicle Charging Network first appeared on Law and the Environment.