PennDOT Wants Feedback on Plan for National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today launched a survey for the public to share feedback on the goals, infrastructure-prioritization, and program-administration components of the Draft Pennsylvania State Plan for access to National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program funds.

“PennDOT is committed to making future-focused investments in Pennsylvania to update our highway network to accommodate more electric vehicles and hybrids,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We have received public and stakeholder feedback throughout this process, which is vital to understanding wants and needs as this transformational technology takes hold.”

The survey – which also includes an overview of the Federal Highway Administration’s NEVI Formula Program Guidance – is available at penndot.pa.gov/EV, and will close on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The public can also submit feedback by emailing ra-pdevcorridors@pa.gov. The results of this survey will build upon outreach and discussions the department has previously had and continues to have with lawmakers, planning partners, utilities, local government organizations, EV-charging companies and stakeholders with equity, labor, education, and environmental expertise.

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), PennDOT will receive and distribute $171.5 million in formula funds for EV charging infrastructure over the next five years. The department must outline and submit state EV infrastructure deployment plan to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) by August 1, 2022.

The funding supports the commonwealth goal of expanding EV charging along the previously designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) (list) and Interstate lookalikes. Federal AFC criteria was updated earlier this year to require AFC designated corridors to have charging stations no more than 1 mile from an Interstate exit or highway intersection (previously 5 miles) and no more than 50 miles apart. The department has been reviewing all corridors to align all AFCs with the new criteria.

Pennsylvania has over 1,800 miles of AFCs. Per the guidance from U.S. DOT, any EV charging infrastructure installed with NEVI formula funds shall be located along a designated AFC and meet U.S. DOT minimum standards and requirements. Should PennDOT determine, and U.S. DOT certifies, that the AFCs are fully built out, then Pennsylvania may use funds to build EV charging equipment on any public road or in any publicly accessible location, including but not limited to parking facilities at public buildings, public schools, and parks.

Additionally, PennDOT – following guidance issued from U.S. DOT – will use its EV Equity Guiding Principles announced this year to help the department evaluate EV proposals in accordance with the federal guidance. The principles aim to increase accessibility to the infrastructure and maximize benefits for all Pennsylvanians and fall into five categories:

  • Make EVs more affordable;
  • Make EV charging more accessible;
  • Invest in fleet electrification;
  • Invest in traditionally underserved, low-income, persons of color and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and
  • Increase EV awareness, education, and technical capacity.

The commonwealth’s previous work and the new funding will support growing EV usage and industry transitions. There are more than 23,000 EVs registered in Pennsylvania, more than double the roughly 9,700 that were registered in March 2019. To enhance traveler information for the growing number of EV drivers, the state’s traveler information system – 511PA – now also includes EV charging station locations as an option on its traffic map. Using data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the map shows locations across the state by connector type, including CCS, J1772, CHAdeMO, Tesla, and NEMA.