Revolutionizing Pennsylvania’s Transportation: Federal Funding Boosts Electric Vehicle Infrastructure and Clean Energy Initiatives

electric vehicleU.S. Senator Bob Casey; Andrew Rogers; Federal Highway Administration Deputy Administrator Andrew Rogers;.PA Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Carroll in South Abington Township, PA /Credit: Commonwealth Media Services

PENNSYLVANIA — On Monday, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll, U.S. Senator Bob Casey, Federal Highway Administration Deputy Administrator Andrew Rogers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced the conditional awards for federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding in collaboration with various organizations. These investments aim to enhance Pennsylvania’s transportation system, promote clean energy, create jobs, and reduce carbon footprint. With the support of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the state plans to deploy electric vehicle charging stations across urban, suburban, and rural areas. This initiative aligns with the nationwide effort to establish a robust EV charging network in preparation for the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

Fifty-four projects in 35 counties were selected to expand access to, and the reliability of, electric vehicle charging within Pennsylvania. The $33.8 million federal investment is part of the $171.5 million PennDOT will receive and distribute for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure over five years through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

“Our team worked diligently to meet federal NEVI requirements while also spreading opportunities among various companies and communities,” Carroll said. “Because of Governor Shapiro’s leadership and record of delivering for Pennsylvanians, we are among the first states distributing these funds that will provide travelers with options and confidence while also benefitting our environment. These new investments will create good paying jobs and allow Pennsylvanians residents, businesses, and visitors to travel across the Commonwealth faster, cleaner, and more reliably.”

The conditional awards include various recipients – including seven headquartered in Pennsylvania – and site locations across the state. Four federally compliant charging ports will be funded at each charging location with 216 total funded charging ports. Twenty-two of the projects are in or within half a mile of state or federally designated disadvantaged communities. View the conditional award list, by county, on the department’s NEVI web page.

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“Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we can strengthen and expand our electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” Senator Casey said. “This funding will allow us to deploy electric vehicle charging stations across our Commonwealth, from cities to suburbs to rural areas, promoting energy security, creating jobs, and reducing our carbon footprint.”

Moving forward, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public involvement process will begin for each project. Projects can begin after those processes are successfully completed and agreements with each recipient are executed. Some projects may begin as early as late 2023.

“In Pennsylvania and across the country, President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is building the backbone of our national network of EV charging stations that will ensure a seamless experience for drivers when they’re charging up – similar payment systems, clear pricing information, interoperable connector types, and reliable charging speeds as we make the historic transition to electric vehicles,” Rogers said. “With federal investments made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Pennsylvania is taking a critical step forward as States across our nation begin deploying EV chargers for the communities they serve, and we are proud partner with them in this shared project.”

The NEVI funding supports the Commonwealth and federal goal of expanding EV charging along the previously designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) (see a list of AFCs here) and Interstate lookalikes. Pennsylvania has over 1,800 miles of AFCs. Per the guidance from U.S. DOT, NEVI formula funds must first be used to “build out” designated AFCs (meaning there must be no more than 50 miles between stations and less than 1 mile from an AFC exit) and meet U.S. DOT minimum standards and requirements.

The PA NEVI program includes multiple rounds of funding. During Round 1 selection, the focus was on building out the AFC network along the interstates to meet the NEVI requirements. Once AFCs are fully built out, PennDOT will shift to expanding the NEVI Formula Program funding to fund right-sized EV chargers for Pennsylvania’s community charging.

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“Northeast Pennsylvania is leading the way by taking full advantage of the bipartisan infrastructure law and the resources it affords,” said Congressman Matt Cartwright. “[We’re] taking another big step forward in building out our electric vehicle charging network, modernizing our infrastructure, and creating good-paying jobs.”

Projects were evaluated on a competitive basis following federal requirements and other factors:

  • Choosing a variety of recipients not only statewide but also along individual AFCs;
  • Projects that provided a variety of amenities and services to improve customer experience (such as varied payment options);
  • Positive local economic development and workforce opportunities; and
  • Locations that are welcoming, safe, and accessible for all.

The NEVI funds support the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of charging sites. The PA NEVI program is a reimbursement program and applicants are required to provide a minimum 20% match. PennDOT received 271 unique funding submissions requesting $165.4 million for this round of investments.

Monday’s event was held at the Scranton Electricians JATC Training Center. All electricians installing, operating, or maintaining EV supply equipment must have a certification from the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) or graduation or a continuing education certificate from a registered apprenticeship program. Where more than one electrician is required, at least one electrician must meet the requirements above, and at least one electrician must be enrolled in an electrical registered apprenticeship program.

While Round 1 NEVI projects progress, PennDOT continues meeting federal deadlines for additional funding rounds and working toward closing all AFC gaps while expanding community charging access.  Round 1 and 1a will focus exclusively on the AFC network. The department anticipates opening Round 1a later this fall with approximately $20 million available.

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Additionally, on August 1, PennDOT submitted its Federal Fiscal Year 2024 NEVI Plan Update for federal review. The public may share input on the plan through an online survey or emailing ra-pdevcorridors@pa.gov. PennDOT will make all reasonable modifications to policies, programs, and documents to ensure that people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency have an equal opportunity to provide feedback on Pennsylvania’s transportation network. If you have other questions or challenges, contact PennDOT’s Bureau of Equal Opportunity to request help by emailing beodot@pa.gov or calling 717-787-5891; TTY (711).

For more information on NEVI funds in Pennsylvania visit the PennDOT website.

Pennsylvania can compete for billions of dollars in federal funds across a wide range of federal grant programs through the BIL, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). To help communities and organizations learn about these opportunities, PennDOT created a web page, www.penndot.pa.gov/IIJA, with details on federal grant opportunities to help municipalities, townships, and other community agencies with understanding the multiple transportation program grants that are available. The page includes Grant Alerts, guides, and links to important resources for local municipalities and organizations interested in pursuing federal funding opportunities

Information about state infrastructure in Pennsylvania, including completed work and significant projects, is available at www.penndot.pa.gov/results. Find PennDOT’s planned and active construction projects at www.projects.penndot.gov.

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