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Technical Assistance and Resources for Tribal Nations

The Joint Office is facilitating the adoption of electrified transportation in collaboration with Tribal Nations by providing comprehensive technical assistance and resources.

This page offers general information about electric vehicles (EVs), access to technical assistance through the Joint Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, and current funding opportunities available to Tribal Nations for electrified transportation.

Funding Opportunities

See a list of funding opportunities for Tribal Nations.

News and Updates

Read newsletters and subscribe to news for Tribal Nations from the Joint Office.

Technical Assistance

The Joint Office provides technical assistance to Tribal Nations on the planning and implementation of a national network of EV chargers and zero-emission fueling infrastructure, as well as zero-emission transit and school buses.

DOE’s Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs provides technical assistance for advancing Tribal energy projects to federally recognized Tribes, including Alaska Native communities, Tribal energy development organizations, and other organized Tribal groups and communities.

Additional technical assistance resources are also available at the links below:

Contact Us

Use the contact form to contact the Joint Office for technical assistance for Tribal Nations.

National EV Initiative for Tribal Nations

The National Electric Vehicle Initiative for Tribal Nations is a multi-agency effort to ensure Tribes and Native communities are included in the EV future of the country. Ten participating agencies within the White House Council on Native American Affairs work in collaboration to support the goals of ensuring that federal resources for EV development are equitably shared and supportive of Tribal economies, and the physical buildout of a national EV network includes Tribal lands and Native communities.

View the recording of the National EV Initiative for Tribal Nations Webinar.

Tribal EV and Energy Storage Projects

Tribal Nations can benefit from EV development, including workforce development, increased economic development opportunities from offering EV charging, improved air quality, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Examples of Tribal EV and energy projects from nations are highlighted below.

  • Cherokee Nation Solar Canopy Charging Station

    The Nation’s solar canopy can charge up to eight EVs while also providing clean power to the Cherokee Nation complex.

  • Chilkoot Indian Association EV Charging Site

    The Chilkoot Indian Association will receive $1.4 million in Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) awards to construct an electric vehicle charging site located on the Haines Highway, adjacent to a local park, cruise ship terminal and oceanfront walking, and biking trails. In a community that faces a high cost of living, severe weather, and extreme geographic isolation, this project supports sustainable community economic development and renewable transportation resiliency.

  • Clean School Bus Rebates Program 2022

    28 school districts serving Tribal communities were selected to receive funding for the purchase of electric and low-emission school buses.

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Electric School Buses

    Eastern Band of Cherokee was awarded a $5 million Clean School Bus Grant. The funds will be used for charging infrastructure and the purchase of fifteen electric school buses.

  • Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan EV Infrastructure Program

    The Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan received a $4,000,000 FY 2023 Tribal Climate Resilience Award to carry out the Gun Lake Tribe Electric Infrastructure Implementation Project. Funds will be used for the purchase of various electric vehicles and the installation of solar infrastructure on the Tribal Government’s campus.

  • Red Lake Nation Long-Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Project

    Retired electric vehicle batteries will be utilized to provide demand reduction, load shifting, and resilience for the Tribe’s workforce development campus.

  • San Carlos Apache Tribal Council EV Charging Sites

    San Carlos Apache Tribal Council will receive $500,000 in Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) awards to install four EV charging station sites within the Reservation and one additional station in Safford, Arizona. The project will benefit the San Carlos, Peridot, and Bylas communities by providing healthier air quality, creating positive environmental impacts, stimulating the local economy, and providing necessary services.

  • San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians EV Charger Installation

    In partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric, the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians has completed installation of 10 new EV chargers bringing the total number up to nearly 100 charging station on Tribal lands.

  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Electric Vehicles and Charging Site

    The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe celebrated the arrival of six electric vehicles and the installation of an electric vehicle charging station at Sitting Bull College. The charging station is part of a larger project crossing the upper Midwest and is funded in part by a $6.7 million grant from the U.S. DOE’s Vehicle Technology Office.

  • Upper Midwest Inter-Tribal Electric Vehicle Charging Community Network

    This project was initiated in 2022 with completion planned for 2025. The project will demonstrate EVs through a Native-led model program including 23 Native Nations. Objectives include creation of fast charging corridors to connect the tribal reservations with job centers, economic centers, and other critical services. This project is one of hundreds of projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office that advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies.

  • Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Program

    Wisconsin announced contingent awards for their Round 1 Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (WEVI) Program, through the NEVI Formula Program in May 2024 that included two awards to Tribal Nations. The Onieda Nation was awarded $405,892 for EV charging infrastructure at the Casino and the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe was awarded $409,602 for EV charging infrastructure at the FireSide Market convenience store.

Charging Forward: A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility

In support of the national EV initiative, the U.S. Department of Transportation developed a toolkit to assist rural communities interested in EV-charging infrastructure. Charging Forward: A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure is a comprehensive resource that can be used to identify key partners for a project, take advantage of relevant planning tools, and identify available project funding or financing.

Electric Mobility Basics

Tribes have a variety of options to consider pertaining to EV types and EV charging infrastructure to assist Tribal communities in meeting their clean energy and electrification goals. Section 2 of the Rural EV Toolkit includes an overview of electric mobility, electric transit, EV types, and EV charging infrastructure.

EV Infrastructure Planning for Tribal Nations

Section 5 of the Rural EV Toolkit describes the three levels of EV infrastructure planning: corridor level, community level, and site level. Planning for EV infrastructure development within Tribal lands may involve considerations across these levels. Tribes may consider corridor level planning to address infrastructure needs for travel corridors running through Tribal lands. Tribal governments may engage in community level planning when considering how to make EV options accessible for community members. Site level planning may be of interest to Tribes considering installation of EV charging stations at Tribal facilities and Tribal owned businesses.

Educational Opportunities for Tribal Nations

There are numerous resources available to Tribal Nations for deploying zero-emission, convenient, accessible, equitable transportation infrastructure. Some examples are provided below:

Past Webinars and Presentations