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DOT Accelerating EV Charging Project Delivery

Sept. 20, 2023

ev charging station

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is accelerating the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by adopting a Department of Energy Electric Vehicle Charging Station Categorical Exclusion (CE) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Why this matters

  • DOT filed a Federal Register notice announcing the adoption, taking advantage of a new provision in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA).
  • This will allow for faster environmental review processes for state and local governments as they work to build out a convenient, accessible, and reliable EV charging network by allowing the vast majority of DOT’s $7.5 billion in EV charging investments to be considered under CEs.
  • By adopting the Department of Energy’s EV Charging CE, DOT now has an EV charging specific CE that will help non-traditional grantees who are less familiar with the Federal Highway Administration’s currently available CEs—which cover many EV projects but require fluency with the NEPA process.
  • This is the first application of the FRA since President Biden signed it into law in June of 2023 and reflects the convergence of two administration priorities: EV charging and project delivery.
  • This approach is consistent with a broader DOT focus on improving project delivery to expedite requirements of NEPA while continuing to ensure appropriate protections for communities and the environment:
    • Last week, DOT deployed $100 million in new funding through the Inflation Reduction Act to provide technical assistance for direct grant recipients, expand technical assistance for local and tribal governments—particularly those receiving discretionary grants for the first time—and
      support the modernization of the NEPA process.
    • In July of 2023, DOT opened the Project Delivery Center of Excellence at the USDOT Volpe Center to support implementation of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.