The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) provided $5 billion for electric Vehicle (“EV”) charging infrastructure through a National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (“NEVI”) Formula Program. Along with this provision, the IIJA required the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) to establish a deadline for States to develop and submit a State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan describing how the State intends to use its apportioned NEVI Formula Program funds. As set out in its NEVI Program Guidance released Feb. 10, 2022, DOT established an Aug. 1, 2022, deadline.
Pursuant to that deadline Michigan recently released its State Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment (“Plan”). The Plan notes that the NEVI Formula Program will allocate $110 million to Michigan between fiscal years 2022 and 2026 to install four 150 kilowatt (kW)-or-greater chargers with Combined Charging System (“CCS”) ports at intervals of no more than 50 miles along each of the State’s designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (“AFCs”). The Plan also notes that once the AFCs are fully built out and certified by DOT, the remaining funds become discretionary and can be used on any public road or in other publicly accessible areas. The Plan further sets out, among other things, Michigan’s vision and goals (referencing the MI Healthy Climate Plan), its approach to contracting, an analysis of existing and future conditions, an explanation of Michigan’s EV charging infrastructure deployment, and an explanation of how Michigan will implement the NEVI Formula Program funding.
In terms of contracting and implementation, the Plan states that Michigan will develop a competitive procurement program to award and disburse NEVI Formula Program funds. Specifically, Michigan will modify the existing Charge Up Michigan Program framework to account for the NEVI Formula Program’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requirements. Michigan’s approach to procurement will involve the following: (i) determining charging location needs (specifically by updating Michigan’s Electric Vehicle Charger Placement Optimization in Michigan: Phase I – Highway); (ii) developing contractual requirements (including requirements regarding, among other things, planning, environmental clearance, design, permitting, and installation; the various roles of property owners, installation contractors, utilities, networking companies, the State, and local agencies; collaboration and coordination with property owners, municipalities, utilities, other impacted entities, and the public; small business and DBE involvement; and minimum EV charging equipment specifications and EV charging equipment aesthetic guidelines and restrictions, such as advertising, etc.); (iii) developing and advertising its request for proposals (“RFP”); (iv) evaluating applications and awarding contracts; (v) providing planning, design, and construction support and oversight; (vi) providing operation and maintenance (“O&M”) oversight; and (vii) facilitating project closeout.
The Plan also addresses (and maps) various additional issues of note, including State travel patterns and annual average daily traffic (“AADT”), including those on interstates and other AFCs, as well as existing charging infrastructure locations along Michigan’s AFCs and potential EV deployment challenges and actions. The Plan also describes EV adoption trends in Michigan and the process for identifying charging priorities for investing NEVI Formula Program funds across the State.
The Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) will approve eligible Plans by Sept. 30, 2022. Plans will need to be updated on an annual basis to reflect the State DOT funding Plans for the relevant fiscal year. The NEVI Formula Program funds will be immediately available for State DOTs to obligate for eligible expenses upon the approval of their Plans by FHWA each year. Under the Plan procurement development and advertisement is expected to occur between October and December 2022. Annual activities occurring between 2023 and 2026 are expected to include the following: (i) applications reviewed, contracts awarded, and infrastructure deployed; (ii) continued stakeholder engagement; (iii) workforce development programs initiated and continued; (iv) NEVI Formula Program monitored for reporting purposes; (v) additional AFCs nominated; and (vi) updates and resubmittals of the Plan.