The Biden-Harris administration opened applications for the first round of funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Discretionary Grant Program.
The multi-billion-dollar program will fund electric vehicle (EV) charging and alternative-fueling infrastructure in communities across the country and along designated highways, interstates, and major roadways.
This program, established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will provide $2.5 billion over five years to a wide range of applicants, including cities, counties, local governments, and tribes. The CFI Discretionary Grant Program builds on the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, for which the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published finalized minimum standards earlier this month.
This first round of funding makes up to $700 million from Fiscal Years (FY) 2022 and 2023 funding available to strategically deploy EV charging and other alternative vehicle-fueling infrastructure projects in publicly accessible locations in urban and rural communities, as well as along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs).
Focus on Equitable Distribution of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure
A priority of the CFI Discretionary Grant Program is bringing EV charging into urban and rural communities; downtown areas and local neighborhoods, particularly in underserved and disadvantaged communities; as well as to designated alternative fuel corridors.
FHWA seeks to fund projects that address environmental justice, particularly for communities such as rural and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods that may disproportionately experience the consequences of climate change and other pollutants.
“It’s 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-powered charging on highway corridors and in urban hubs or Level 2 charging where EV drivers or riders 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 riding and driving electric.”
New Joint Office Consortium to Integrate Equity into EV Infrastructure
The Joint Office, through the new Joint Office United Support for Transportation (JUST) Lab Consortium, will convene three U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, to help identify practical approaches to integrate equity into federally-funded EV infrastructure deployment efforts—like projects awarded under the CFI Program—spanning deployment planning, implementation pathways, and policy design.
New Resources on DriveElectric.gov Support CFI Discretionary Grant Program Applicants
To support the CFI Discretionary Grant Program, the Joint Office has published some new resources on DriveElectric.gov. Learn about key considerations from past DOE-funded projects on curbside electric vehicle (EV) charging, EV car share, EV charging for multifamily housing, and EV mobility hubs. These lessons learned, include:
- Best practices for engaging stakeholders
- Strategies for improving the equitable distribution of project benefits
- Site selection factors
- Permitting/policy elements that could impact the project
Another resource to guide the buildout of community alternative fueling infrastructure is the Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation (AFLEET) CFI Emissions Tool. This resource can assess estimated emissions reductions from EV charging infrastructure and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated AFCs.
More information on the CFI Discretionary Grant Program and the JUST Lab Consortium can be found at DriveElectric.gov.