In our ongoing commitment to advancing the EV charging market, AMPECO recently submitted a set of recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) regarding the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.
Recognizing the significance of establishing minimum standards and requirements for EV charging infrastructure, the FHWA proposed regulations under the NEVI Formula Program. In our submission, we emphasized the importance of open standards, longer funding durations, and payment method flexibility to accelerate the deployment and adoption of EV charging infrastructure across the country.
The Federal Highway Administration has since updated its NEVI program guidance, NEVI state plan template, and added a new NEVI FAQ. We selected the most common questions and answers. You can find the extensive list here.
What is the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program?
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program is a grant program that supports electric vehicle infrastructure in the United States. The program, funded by the Department of Energy, provides funding for local governments, public and private entities, and Tribal communities to install electric vehicle charging stations. The program helps reduce transportation costs, create employment, and reduce gasoline vehicle emissions. It also supports the development of a national network of charging infrastructure which will aid in promoting the nationwide adoption of electric vehicles.
Disclaimer: Except for the statutes and regulations cited, the contents of this document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the States in any way. This document is intended only to provide information regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about NEVI Program
Which authorities govern the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program?
The NEVI Formula Program is authorized under Paragraph (2) under the Highway Infrastructure Program heading in Title VIII of division J of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Pub. L. 117-58)
New EV charging stations should be spaced 50 miles apart and within one mile of the Interstate exit or highway. Can States request exceptions from these requirements?
Yes, although exceptions will be granted under limited circumstances on a case-by-case basis. A State DOT may submit a request for discretionary exceptions from the requirement that charging infrastructure is installed every 50 miles along designated Alternative Fuel Corridor highway and within 1 travel mile of the designated Alternative Fuel Corridor highway. A template for requesting such discretionary exceptions has been developed and is available on the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation website at https://driveelectric.gov/technical-assistance/. Discretionary exceptions against the 50-mile and 1-mile criteria may be considered for reasons related to grid capacity, geography, equity, and extraordinary cost, as explained further in the instructions for the discretionary exception template. Exception requests may be submitted as a separate attachment to the Plan and States are encouraged to submit any exception requests along with the submittal of their Plan updates. Submissions received outside of this timeframe will be reviewed within 90 days or in a timeframe that would not delay the State’s progress. Greater scrutiny will be applied to larger deviations from the distance requirements.
Where can the NEVI Formula Program funds be spent?
In general, NEVI Formula Program funds should be used for the acquisition and installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to serve as a catalyst for the further deployment of such infrastructure. The FHWA has established a national network of alternative fueling and charging infrastructure along National Highway System (NHS) corridors called Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) and the NEVI Formula Program funds can be spent along those AFCs that are designated for EV charging. Projects along Interstates should be prioritized during the first years of the program in order to create a reliable national network of EV charging stations. Designations of these AFCs are made through an annual nomination process released through a Request for Nominations. For more information on AFCs – here.
Note that the category of designation within the AFC program (Corridor Ready or Corridor Pending) has no bearing on eligibility for NEVI Formula Program use – all designated AFCs are eligible corridors for NEVI Formula Program projects. The NEVI Formula Program funds can be utilized to upgrade or add additional infrastructure on designated corridors.
What if currently designated AFC corridors contain EV charging stations that do not match the requirements of the NEVI Formula Program?
State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) are encouraged to upgrade existing EV charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) to meet the criteria in the NEVI Formula Program Guidance and other Federal requirements (to include 23 CFR 680). NEVI funds can be used for such upgrades.
Can a charging station be constructed in phases with fewer than the minimum number of ports installed initially and the remainder installed at a later time?
No. 23 CFR 680.106(b) requires a minimum of four ports at each station, and these four ports must be available at the time of project close-out. States should strive to make four ports available when the station is operational and opened for public use.
Can a charging station be “split” with some of the required ports provided at one site and the others provided at another nearby site?
No. As per 23 CFR 680.106(b), each charging station must have at least four network-connected charging ports and be capable of simultaneously charging at least four EVs.
Can NEVI Formula Program funding be used outside of designated AFCs?
NEVI Formula Program funding cannot be used outside of designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) until the Secretary of Transportation certifies that the designated corridors in a given State are fully built out as per Paragraph (2) under the Highway Infrastructure Program heading in Title VIII of division J of BIL.
What is a fully built-out State?
See Section V-C of the NEVI Formula Program Guidance.
Can NEVI Formula Program funding be used for EV infrastructure on Federal lands?
Yes. Prior to certification as a fully built-out State, State DOTs may elect to partner with Federal land management agencies within their State and fund EV infrastructure as long as the AFC includes the location and the Federal lands facility complies with the AFC proximity requirement (e.g., location within one mile off an exit) or the location receives an exception from the proximity requirements. After the State has determined and the Secretary of Transportation has certified that the State’s designated AFCs for 4 electric vehicles are fully built out, NEVI Formula Program funding may be used on any public road or in other publicly accessible locations, including those found on Federal lands.
Can State DOTs contract with private entities to install, maintain, and/or operate EV charging stations?
Yes. See Section II-D of the NEVI Formula Program Guidance for more details on contracting with private entities. Funds made available under the NEVI Formula Program may be used to contract with a private entity for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure, and the private entity may pay the non-Federal share of the cost of a project. However, even when a private entity has such a contract, under Title 23, U.S.C., the State DOT remains responsible for compliance with the NEVI Formula Program requirements and any applicable Title 23 requirements.
For toll roads on the Interstate System that were constructed without Federal financial assistance made available under Title 23, U.S.C., does the use of NEVI Formula Program funds to construct EV charging stations federalize the toll road for purposes of Interstate access and the toll revenue use restrictions under 23 U.S.C. 129(a)(3)?
Yes, but only if the construction of the EV charging station with NEVI Formula Program Funds is located within the Interstate right-of-way (ROW). If the construction of the EV charging station is located outside of the Interstate ROW and access is provided from another public road, then such toll road on the Interstate System is not federalized for purposes of 23 U.S.C. 129(a)(3).
Two typical scenarios where this question arises are discussed below:
Scenario #1: If the automotive service station or commercial establishment, such as an Interstate rest area, is “grandfathered” because it existed prior to January 1, 1960, and NEVI funds are used to install EV chargers at the establishment, then fees may be charged for the use of the chargers because the construction of EV chargers doesn’t remove the grandfathered status.
Scenario #2: If the establishment is on a section of Interstate where Federal funds have never been used, as opposed to a grandfathered establishment described in Scenario #1, and the State uses NEVI funds to install EV chargers at that establishment, then the State can no longer charge fees because that section of Interstate is now “federalized”. There may be some very limited circumstances where an EV project could be considered a non-construction project that would not cause the road to be federalized; however, the details of the project would have to be discussed and approved by FHWA. The key point is that the “construction” versus “non-construction” distinction only impacts Scenario #2.
Because EV charger installation is typically considered “construction”, the installation of EV chargers “federalizes” the establishment, triggering the prohibition on commercial activity and preventing the charging of fees. That is not the case in Scenario #1.
What is a “commercial motor vehicle”?
The definition of “commercial motor vehicle” found at 23 CFR 658.5 is the most appropriate definition to use in relation to the NEVI Program.
Do Buy America requirements apply to the NEVI Formula Program?
Yes. ‘Buy America’ applies to the obligation of NEVI Formula Program funds. On February 21, 2023, the Federal Highway Administration published a Federal Register notice that released the Build America, Buy America implementation plan for EV charging equipment involving Title 23 funds, providing a transition period for companies to onshore their supply chains. The plan was effective starting on March 23, 2023.
What construction costs are eligible for reimbursement under the NEVI Formula Program?
All construction costs for NEVI Formula Program projects, as defined under 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(4), are eligible so long as they are directly related to the charging of an electric vehicle (EV). These costs must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable in accordance with 2 CFR part 200. To be considered directly related to the charging of vehicles, the item must be a necessary component in the EV charging station, be a necessary component to connect the EV charging station to the electricity source (or to supply power from the electricity source), provide eligible signage to direct EVs to the charging station, or provide information to EV users about use of the charging stations. This includes the costs of new public EV charging stations, as well as upgrades to existing EV charging stations.
Are costs for on-site renewable energy generation and storage considered directly related to the charging of EVs, and therefore eligible for reimbursement?
Yes, provided that renewable energy generation or storage only transfers power to and from the EV charging station. Costs for planning, permitting, acquisition, and installation of on-site distributed energy resource (DER) equipment (e.g., solar arrays, stationary batteries) that are directly related to the charging of a vehicle are eligible for reimbursement. These costs should only be considered if they will lead to lower costs to consumers, greater EV charging station reliability, and if they do not substantially increase the timeline for completing an EV charging station project.
States should consult with Public Utility Commissions and electric utilities to understand regulations and policies restricting the use of DERs at EV charging stations, as well as incentive programs. States are encouraged to consider the magnitude of these costs and explore whether costs could be covered by electric utilities or other programs other than the NEVI Formula Program. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation is available to help States better understand and assess the inclusion of DERs at EV charging station locations.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used for transformers and other on-site electrical equipment that is necessary to provide power to EV charging stations?
Yes. Costs to acquire and install on-site electric service equipment (e.g., power meter, transformer, switchgear) are eligible. However, State DOTs are encouraged to consider the magnitude of these costs and explore whether they could be covered by electric utilities or other programs rather than the NEVI Formula Program.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used for electric grid equipment and upgrades?
Yes. Costs to acquire and install on-site electric service equipment (e.g., power meter, transformer, switchgear) are eligible. Costs for minor grid upgrades are also eligible, provided the work is necessitated solely by the construction or upgrading of the EV charging station and participation in the upgrade does not exceed the allocable cost of the minimum upgrades needed to match the planned power requirements of the EV charging station. A minor grid upgrade is defined as the work necessary to connect a charging station to the electric grid distribution network; for example, extending power lines or upgrading existing power lines several miles. Finally, major grid upgrades, such as longer line extensions 7 or upgrades, improvements to offsite power generation, bulk power transmission, or substations, are ineligible. State DOTs are encouraged to consider the magnitude of these costs and explore whether they could be covered by the electric utility or programs other than the NEVI Formula Program so as to minimize use of NEVI Formula funds for grid upgrades where possible. See the Utility Planning section below for additional information. States are also encouraged to consult with the FHWA and the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to determine if an exception to charging station siting requirements may be warranted or if there are additional viable alternatives.
Are repairs, upgrades, or replacement of existing EV charging stations eligible costs?
Yes, NEVI Formula Program funds may be used to repair, upgrade, or replace existing EV charging equipment (i.e., charging stations that were installed prior to the NEVI Formula Program) to meet NEVI Formula Program minimum standards and requirements at 23 CFR 680. State DOTs are encouraged to consider other programs that may provide funding for these upgrade costs that could be used in conjunction with NEVI Formula Program funds in an effort to focus the majority of NEVI funds on maximizing the number of new EV charging stations.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used to update existing EV charging stations to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements?
Yes. In the design/update of EV charging stations, States should consider the Design Recommendations for Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations published by the U.S. Access Board.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used to support EV charging workforce development activities?
Yes. Workforce development activities for NEVI Formula Program projects are eligible so long as they are directly related to the charging of an electric vehicle. These costs must be allowable, allocable, and reasonable in accordance with 2 CFR part 200. Also, note that States are required to comply with the qualified technician requirements in 23 CFR 680.106(j). Workforce development activities funded by the NEVI Formula Program should contribute to the State’s compliance with these requirements.
Can NEVI funds be used for pre-construction costs associated with environmental review and preliminary engineering?
Yes. As with other activities funded under Title 23, U.S.C., funds can be used for drafting environmental documents and studies, preliminary engineering, and related work. NEVI funds cannot be used for final design and construction for site installations until the NEPA review is completed.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used to purchase proprietary adaptors?
Yes, provided that the adapter is 1) directly or indirectly compatible with and ancillary to a permanently attached Combined Charging System (CCS) connector for DCFC ports or to a permanently attached J1772 connector for AC Level 2 chargers; 2) approved by the charger manufacturer to ensure consistency, safety, and reliability; 3) fully integrated into the charger such that it cannot be removed from 8 the site; and 4) otherwise complies with the NEVI Formula Program under the Highway Infrastructure Program heading in Title VIII of division J of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, enacted as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Pub. L. 117-58) and 23 CFR 680. All EV infrastructure projects under NEVI must be open to the general public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company in accordance with Paragraph (2) under the Highway Infrastructure Program heading in Title VIII of division J of BIL.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used to install, operate, and maintain EV charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles?
Yes, NEVI formula program funds can be used for light, medium, and heavy-duty electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects that meet NEVI program requirements. All EV infrastructure projects under NEVI must be open to the general public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company in accordance with Paragraph (2) under the Highway Infrastructure Program heading in Title VIII of division J of BIL.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used to install, operate, and maintain charging stations for electrified micro-mobility devices such as electric bicycles and electric scooters?
No. NEVI Formula Program funds are restricted to projects that are directly related to EV charging infrastructure that is open to the public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company.3 According to 23 CFR § 680.104, an Electric Vehicle (EV) is defined as a “motor vehicle that is either partially or fully powered on electric power received from an external power source.” For the purposes of this regulation, this definition does not include golf carts, electric bicycles, or other micro-mobility devices.”
Are EV charging station operation and maintenance costs eligible for reimbursements under the NEVI Formula Program?
Yes, when used for EV charging infrastructure acquired or installed under the NEVI Formula Program. The following operating costs are eligible, although only for up to five years after the charging station is commissioned:
– Charging equipment lease fees in the case that an EV charging station operator opts to lease rather than purchase charging equipment.
– Cellular network fees, internet service fees, or other similar fees are necessary to provide communications between EV charging stations and charging network providers.
– Hardware and software maintenance and repair costs, including service agreements with third-party contractors and charging equipment manufacturers or warrantors.
– Other operating costs that are necessary and directly related to the charging of vehicles.
After five years, operating costs are no longer eligible for reimbursements under the NEVI Formula Program. State DOTs are encouraged to prioritize uses of NEVI Formula Program funds for operation and maintenance costs at EV charging station locations that may have lower utilization (particularly in the near term) but are still necessary to ensure a contiguous, national network.
What program administration costs are eligible for reimbursement under the NEVI Formula Program?
General program administration costs are not eligible, however, NEVI Formula Program funds can be used for program administration projects that are directly related to EV charging infrastructure that is open to the public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company. Where administrative costs are an eligible expense, direct and indirect cost allocation for reimbursement must follow 2 CFR part 200.
Are costs incurred by the State DOTs to develop their Plans an eligible expense under the NEVI Formula Program?
Yes. However, NEVI funds are not available for obligation for a particular, fiscal year until after a Plan has been submitted and is approved by FHWA. States can use prior-year NEVI funds to cover these costs. State DOTs can also create an agreement with FHWA for Advance Construction (AC) prior to getting the NEVI obligation approved for the cost of the Plan and then request conversion of the AC project to obligate NEVI Formula Program funds and seek reimbursement for eligible costs. Any costs incurred by a State DOT prior to the AC authorization would not be eligible for reimbursement. State DOTs should be aware that Plans progressed under non-NEVI funds would not be eligible for later conversion to NEVI Formula Program funds.
Are there any limitations on program income or revenue from EV charging stations that are funded under the NEVI Formula Program?
Yes, see 23 CFR 680.106(m). Per 2 CFR 200.307, any income or revenue received during the period of performance (POP) shall be deducted from the total allowable costs of Federal funds used on the project to determine the net allowable costs at the Federal share applied.
If NEVI Formula Program funds are used to build EV chargers on private property, must States acquire property rights on that private property?
States must have adequate property rights to construct, operate, and maintain these EV charging stations on private property, regardless of the type of instrument used to convey those rights. These projects are considered construction projects, so Title 23 requirements do apply, which includes ensuring that adequate property interests are acquired. (see 23 CFR 1.23).
Should State DOTs consult with relevant electric utilities and utility regulators on their EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans?
Yes. State DOTs should consult with relevant electric utilities and utility regulators in the development of their Plans to ensure charging site viability, cost-effectiveness, and timeliness of deployment. These elements should be explicitly addressed in Plans, as well as the process for collaborative planning with electric utilities and utility regulators.
What details should Plans include regarding consultation with and the role of electric utilities and utility regulators?
Plans should describe the expected nature and cost of necessary utility investments (e.g., line extensions, make-ready programs, and site improvements), as well as the State’s planned approach for securing utility and other regulatory approvals necessary to support EV charging station operations.
Does the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program at 49 CFR Part 26 apply to NEVI Formula funds?
No. The DBE requirements do not apply to NEVI Formula funds. Section 11101(e)(3) of the BIL provides that the DBE Program applies to the amounts made available for any program under Division A (other than section 14004), division C, and 23 U.S.C. 403. The NEVI Formula Program is authorized and appropriated in division J, which is not specifically covered by Section 11101(e)(3). Moreover, while the recipients of NEVI Formula funds are already required to have DBE Programs, the NEVI Formula Program concerns funding for a new contracting industry which Congress has not made a finding with respect to the existence of discrimination in the contracting markets associated with the work funded by such grants.
Are EV charging stations eligible for a “categorical exclusion” (CE) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) class of action?
In most instances, yes. As stated in the NEVI Formula Program Guidance, State DOTs should consider the appropriate level of review under NEPA. EV charging station installation is generally the type of action that would not be expected to result in significant environmental impacts and can be processed with a CE (see 23 CFR 771.117(c) and 23 CFR 771.117(d)), unless there are unusual circumstances that may require a higher NEPA class of action. During site selection, States should consider locations within a previously disturbed or developed area. The FHWA encourages states to rely on their programmatic CE agreements, when applicable, to accelerate the delivery of these projects.
Are there tools to help identify the potential impacts of EV charging stations?
The FHWA encourages the State DOTs to use their existing CE checklists to help identify if an EV charging station project qualifies for a CE.
There are other web-based tools, such as NEPAssist, that can help with the initial screening of potential impacts.
Can NEVI Formula Program funds be used to comply with data reporting requirements in 23 CFR 680?
Yes. NEVI Formula Program funds can be used for data submittal requirements under 23 CFR 680.112 for NEVI-funded chargers.
Are Federal highway construction contracting requirements (such as 23 USC 113, prevailing wages) applicable to EV charging infrastructure projects that are built on private property using NEVI formula funds or other Title 23 funding?
Yes. NEVI Formula Program funds are to be administered as if apportioned under Chapter 1 of Title 23, U.S.C. The BIL also included a new provision, 23 USC 109(s)(2), which states that EV charging infrastructure projects using Title 23 funds “shall be treated as if the project is located on a Federal-aid highway”. In addition, 23 CFR 680.118(b), states that 23 USC 113 applies, and prevailing wages must be paid on NEVI formula-funded projects.
Are EV charging infrastructure projects considered “construction” and subject to Federal-aid construction contracting requirements?
Yes, the installation of EV charging equipment would typically be considered construction, not operational improvements. Thus Title 23 construction requirements would apply.
23 USC 112(a) provides:
In all cases where the construction is to be performed by the State transportation department or under its supervision, a request for submission of bids shall be made by advertisement unless some other method is approved by the Secretary.
Furthermore, 23 USC 109(s)(2) provides:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a project to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure using funds provided under this Title shall be treated as if the project is located on a Federal-aid highway.
Furthermore, 23 CFR 635.103 provides:
The policies, requirements, and procedures prescribed in this subpart shall apply to all Federal-aid highway projects.
Also, the FHWA notes that 23 CFR 635.104(a) & (b), while applicable, apply to the same extent that they do to the procurement of other highway construction projects. In other words, the Division Administrator may approve some other method if found to be more cost-effective pursuant to the force account procedures under 23 CFR 635 subpart B and FHWA’s Order 5060.1. Per the order, analysis is conducted on a project-by-project basis, and cost savings related to reductions in less-than-complete plans, reduced quality assurance, reduced construction management, and documentation may not be counted in establishing cost-effectiveness.
Thus, the use of this process would not typically apply to EV charging infrastructure projects. Pursuant to these procedures, in the unlikely event that circumstances are considered to justify a negotiated contract or another unusual method of construction, Division Administrators must find that the method is not only cost-effective but also that the rights or responsibilities of the community are so affected as to require some special course of action.
Do Title 23 requirements apply to NEVI Formula Program projects?
Yes. All applicable requirements under Chapter 1 of Title 23, U.S.C., and 2 CFR part 200 apply to the administration of these funds. Also, before funds are obligated, projects must be included on the relevant Statewide Transportation Improvement Program/Transportation Improvement Program (STIP/TIP) and long-range plans in accordance with 23 CFR part 450.
For planning activities funded with NEVI Formula Program funds, State DOTs have the option of including the projects in the STIP/TIP or the State Planning and Research Work Programs/Unified Planning Work Program.
Also, State DOTs must comply with all State and Federal environmental requirements, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and with Title VI. As discussed below in the section on Permitting and Environmental Review, most EV charging stations will be eligible for a “categorical exclusion” (CE) under NEPA).
Does Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Apply to NEVI Formula Program projects?
Yes. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based upon race, color, and national origin, providing that “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 amended Title VI to provide that “programs” or “programs and activities” means “all of the operations of” any department, agency, or instrumentality of a state or local government, any part of which is extended federal assistance.
Do American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 requirements apply to NEVI Formula Program projects?
Yes. EV charging stations must comply with ADA and Section 504 requirements and be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs or other assistive equipment. Key considerations include safety and ease of use. Specifically, designs for EV charging stations should ensure adequate space for exiting and entering the vehicle, unobstructed access to the EV charging stations, free movement around the EV charging stations and connection point on the vehicle, and clear paths and close proximity to any building entrances. The existing ADA standards address many aspects of accessibility for buildings and sites applicable to EV charging stations but do not specifically address EV charging stations. To address this gap, in July 2022, the U.S. Access Board issued Design Recommendations for Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations. FHWA recommends that charging stations be designed and constructed according to the Access Board’s Recommendations to demonstrate ADA compliance and optimize usability for persons with disabilities.
Are there additional requirements if an EV charging station is located in the floodplain?
Yes. Executive Order 11988, “Floodplain Management,” as amended by E.O. 13690, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input,” requires Federal agencies to consider alternatives for proposed actions in or affecting floodplains. FHWA implements these Executive Orders through DOT Order 5650.2 (1979); and 23 CFR part 650, subpart A (Location and Hydraulic Design of Encroachments on Flood Plains). The FHWA also issued FHWA Order 5520 in 2014 to address extreme events and climate change. The FHWA’s floodplain regulation also generally requires projects to be consistent with the intent of the standards established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), States, and local governmental agencies for the administration of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). 23 CFR 650.103(g) and 650.115(a)(5). The presence of a floodplain will typically not preclude FHWA from funding or approving the placement of a charging station within a proposed or existing transportation facility unless the proposal is a significant encroachment and there are other practicable alternatives to the proposed action. See 23 CFR 650.113. However, floodplains can still pose some flooding risks for EV charging stations, and the project sponsor should consider the following factors:
– Safety: If a project sponsor seeks to place EV charging stations in a base floodplain, they will need to conduct appropriate location hydraulic studies under 23 CFR 650.111. To evaluate safety risk, the project sponsor should confirm with the manufacturer that the charging station can be safely inundated with floodwater within the base floodplain. See CFR 650.111(c) and 650.115(a). If the inundation of the charging station presents a risk to safety, the project sponsor may need to elevate the EV charging station or implement appropriate measures to minimize or avoid the risk.
– Access: Project sponsors will need to consider access to the EV charging station, including access roads that are located within a base floodplain, which may reduce or prevent access to EV charging station locations during a flooding event.
To determine whether a proposed location for an EV charging station will be written within the limits of a base floodplain, States must use NFIP maps or, if NFIP maps are not available, information developed by the State highway agency. 23 CFR 650.111(a). NFIP maps may be found on FEMA’s online Map Service Center. States should also consider the location of existing and proposed EV charging infrastructure with respect to the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, as well as how climate change may affect the floodplain, and construct EV charging infrastructure consistent with the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, to the extent consistent with the law. The FHWA regulations, policies, and procedures apply to encroachments in all base floodplains, not just the floodplains regulated by FEMA in the NFIP.
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