Currently, there are no US national standards for installing, operating, or maintaining EV charging stations. Disparities exist among EV charging stations in critical ways, such as operational practices, payment methods, price to charge, and information about the availability and functioning of each charging station.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) proposes establishing regulations setting minimum standards and requirements for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. The NEVI Formula Program will provide $5 billion in dedicated funding to States to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and build the backbone of an interconnected US network along its highways.
The FHWA proposes standards to build a national network of reliable EV chargers
Under FHWA’s proposed rule, the standards would specify requirements for a minimum number and type of chargers capable of supporting drivers’ fast charging needs, interoperability and network connectivity, and mandatory information such as pricing and real-time availability, among others.
The standards would ensure a unified network making EV charging accessible to all Americans. With similar payment methods, pricing, and charging speeds, it wouldn’t matter what EV you drive, which state you charge in, or what charger you plug into.
AMPECO’s recommendations for accelerating the US electric vehicle charging market
As a global leader in providing EV charging management solutions, AMPECO considers the NEVI Funding Program a timely opportunity to kickstart a future-proof deployment of charging infrastructure across all of its use-cases in the public domain.
Public comments for FHWA’s notice were due by August 22, 2022. We respectfully submitted the following comments to ensure the appropriate conditions that will allow the EV charging market to accelerate further.
1. Focus on open standards and protocols
First and foremost, AMPECO strongly recommends incorporating in the proposed Rule only standards and protocols that are “open access,” such as OCPP and OCPI, and thus easily available to all market players. This will guarantee a future-proof approach by avoiding any potential technology lock-ins. Ahead of mandating a set of standards, it is crucial to ensure their full compatibility (or interoperability) and compliance vis-a-vis the charger and the vehicle. A balanced approach would be to apply additional guidance once a standard or protocol is widely adopted in the ecosystem.
2. Longer funding durations to allow strategic planning [Section 680.106]
Pioneering long-term financial models through tender durations longer than 10 or even 15 years will be helpful as the EV charging market picks up pace in the coming years, and public charger utilization is still relatively low. Such an approach substantially improves the economics of EV charging, thus making it affordable to install, maintain and refurbish public chargers. Ultimately, this reduces the cost for drivers and opens up more opportunities to install chargers in previously uneconomical areas (e.g., rural or low-income communities).
3. Payment method flexibility [Section 680.106]
One added value from EV charging for operators is the flexibility to tailor their business models to a wide range of customers. Particularly in the context of fleets, there are currently many services that can be linked to how payment is made with a view towards setting various tariffs. The currently feasible market model for corporate billing and flexible tariffs might be negatively affected by an over-prescriptive requirement for payment of individual charging sessions.
AMPECO is eager to accelerate EV charging across the US
At AMEPCO, we support the Federal Highway Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation in their efforts to standardize EV infrastructure. We stand firmly behind forward-looking regulations that give stakeholders the mechanisms to deploy EV charging infrastructure that will accelerate the transition to EVs.
AMPECO’s white-label EV charging software platform allows businesses to take advantage of the electric revolution. We are ready to offer our assistance and expertise to institutions, charge point operators, and business owners in further developing EV charging across the United States.
Talk to our EV charging experts about how we can help you achieve your goals and set you up for long-term success.