Last updated: January 17, 2024

The South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) has introduced the Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Charging Plan, a systematic framework aimed at establishing a network of EV fast chargers throughout the state. Aligned with the mandates of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program under the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the plan focuses on providing a practical and reliable EV charging infrastructure. With federal funding of $4 million available in Fiscal Year 2022 and a total allocation of $29 million through Fiscal Year 2026, South Dakota intends to meet growing demand for sustainable transportation through strategic deployment of Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC). This initiative reflects the state’s commitment to aligning with federal requirements and contributing to the broader national objective of enhancing EV accessibility and adoption.

VW EV Charging Rebate Program 

South Dakota’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) extends an invitation to eligible participants for Round Three of the Volkswagen (VW) Electric Vehicle Charging Station Rebate Program. Funded through the VW Environmental Mitigation Trust, this initiative seeks to facilitate the installation of light-duty electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) across the state.

The program stems from a 2016 lawsuit against Volkswagen for Clean Air Act violations, resulting in excessive nitrogen oxide pollution. Volkswagen, as part of the settlement, established an Environmental Mitigation Trust, from which South Dakota received an allocation of $8,125,000 to address environmental consequences.

Eligibility and Project Scope

Participation in this initiative is open to federal, state, or local government entities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Eligible projects encompass costs related to the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of light-duty EVCS, emphasizing public accessibility around the clock.

Funding and Reimbursement

South Dakota plans to allocate up to 15 percent of its funds or $1,218,750 for light-duty EVCS projects under the State Mitigation Trust. Successful applicants will operate on a reimbursement basis, receiving up to 80% for charging stations accessible to the general public. Volkswagen settlement funds can also serve as matching funds for other assistance programs.

Application and Evaluation Process

Applicants are required to undergo evaluation by DANR, with a tentative schedule culminating in the selection of projects by March 13, 2024. Successful applicants will enter into agreements with DANR, initiating projects that must be completed by October 31, 2025.

Project Requirements and Site Criteria

Projects aim to maximize geographic distribution, considering factors such as location, costs, and the number of applications received. Charging sites must adhere to specific criteria, including accessibility, lighting, safety measures, and integration with Wi-Fi or cellular networks for remote monitoring. Sites should be easily accessible 24/7 and comply with ADA regulations.

Reporting and Verification

To ensure transparency and accountability, recipients are obligated to submit monthly station utilization data to DANR for three years after project completion. Verification procedures, conducted by DANR staff, ensure funds are utilized as intended and in compliance with program requirements.

Empowering South Dakota’s Businesses

Electric vehicles are on the rise, and South Dakota’s businesses are no exception to this trend. Recognizing the growing demand for EV infrastructure, Black Hills Energy is stepping up to the plate.

The Ready EV Program offers substantial rebates to commercial customers for the purchase and installation of EV charging stations. For government and nonprofit locations, the rebate is an impressive $3,000 per Level 2 charging port, with support for up to four ports. This encourages government offices and nonprofits to lead the way in embracing clean transportation.

For public and workplace charging stations, the rebate stands at $2,000 per Level 2 port, again supporting up to four ports. This ensures that businesses have a strong incentive to invest in EV infrastructure, making it easier for employees and customers to make the switch to electric vehicles.

Fast Charging for Workplaces and More

But the program doesn’t stop there. Black Hills Energy is actively promoting the installation of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations. Workplaces, multiunit dwellings, and public locations can benefit from a substantial rebate of $20,000 for DCFC stations less than 100 kilowatts (kW). For those with larger charging needs, stations greater than 100 kW can receive an impressive rebate of $35,000.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Ready EV Program is the absence of a deadline. South Dakota businesses can take their time planning and implementing their EV charging projects, ensuring that the transition to electric vehicles is seamless and well-executed.

Residential Support

Black Hills Energy hasn’t forgotten about South Dakota’s residents. The program extends to residential customers, offering a rebate of up to $500 for the purchase and installation of a Level 2 EV charging station. This encourages homeowners to join the EV movement and enjoy the benefits of clean, efficient transportation.

South Dakota’s Electric Future is Bright

South Dakota’s EV Fast Charging Plan is a proactive step toward embracing the future of transportation. By fostering the growth of EV infrastructure, the state is not only meeting federal requirements but also positioning itself as a player in the evolving landscape of sustainable mobility. Stay tuned for updates as South Dakota charges into a greener tomorrow. With generous rebates for commercial and residential customers, South Dakota is well on its way to becoming a hub for EV adoption. South Dakota’s landscape may be known for its natural beauty, but now it’s also gaining recognition for its commitment to sustainability through electric vehicles.


Ivelina Kadiri

Policy Compliance Manager

About the author

Ivelina is a trend-seeking policy compliance manager who skillfully navigates complex regulatory landscapes and bridges the gap between sustainable transportation goals and actionable implementation.