Webinar: Technical Assistance for State Departments of Transportation (Text Version)
This is a text version of the webinar Technical Assistance for State Departments of Transportation presented on March 8, 2022.
Steve Lommele: So with that covered I'd like to introduce today's webinar. I'm Steve Lommele and I'm on the transition team for the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. And I'm joined today by Johanna Levene and Mike Scarpino, and they're going to introduce themselves after I cover a few introductory slides.
So today's webinar is focused on technical assistance available to states through the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation, with our current focus on providing resources that will help you develop state plans for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. You'll probably hear this a few times today, but our goal in the Joint Office is to collaborate with you as you develop your NEVI state plans so we can work together to ensure that all of you are successful in the development of your plans and that plans help support a national network for EV charging.
So we're going to be doing this webinar again—sorry, we did this webinar earlier this week, and so if you were able to join then, this is just a repeat of that content.
Next slide, please.
So for some background, the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We have nine areas of emphasis that are highlighted here on this slide, but our priority today and in the short-term is to provide technical assistance to you, states specifically, and other stakeholders in support of the NEVI Formula Program.
Next slide, please.
So specifically the Joint Office will provide unifying guidance, technical assistance and analysis to support the following programs. We've got the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, which is $5 billion for states to build a national EV charging network along corridors. The Joint Office is also going to be supporting the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Discretionary Program, so that's $2.5 billion in community grants for EV charging as well as hydrogen, natural gas, and propane fueling infrastructure. And then there are two additional programs, one focused on low- and no-emission grant programs for transit, and that's $5.6 billion in support of low and no-emission bus deployments and another $5 billion for clean school bus programs.
So that first bullet, the NEVI Formula Program, is hopefully an immediate priority for you and we're here to provide support, insight, and technical assistance to help you build a national EV charging network along highway corridors.
Next slide, please.
A key resource for the NEVI Formula Program is the guidance document that was published by the Federal Highways Administration on February 10. It covers funding features, required state EV infrastructure deployment plans, project eligibility provisions, program administration, and the technical assistance tools. So Johanna is going to address this later, but there's a state plan template on DriveElectric.gov that accompanies the guidance. And one of our immediate priorities in the Joint Office is to work with you as you digest this guidance, have questions, and begin to develop your state plans.
We have already heard from many of you and we're continuing to set up one-on-one calls with every state to make introductions, understand your questions, and chart a course for ongoing collaboration. So if we haven't spoken with you yet please reach out via DriveElectric.gov to establish a point of contact in your state so we can begin working with you and providing technical assistance to help you develop your state plans.
Just want to emphasize this again, but our goal in the Joint Office is to work with every state before state plans are due so that we can collaborate to make sure that state plans meet the requirements and the guidance and also address your priorities as a state and then support that national electric vehicle charging network.
Next slide, please.
So the guidance document outlines the requirements of the EV charging infrastructure funded through the NEVI Formula Program. It provides guidance on EV charging infrastructure attributes, so you'll notice in there that the NEVI Formula Program requires infrastructure installed every 50 miles along the state's portions of the interstate highway system within one mile of the interstate unless there's been a discretionary exception granted. And EV infrastructure must include at least four 150 kW DC fast chargers with the combined charging system ports. So if you're not familiar, there are various ways of connecting electric vehicles to DC fast charging. You might be familiar with Tesla's proprietary standard, there's the CHAdeMO standard, or for the NEVI Formula Program the minimum is that there have to be four CCS connectors available. That doesn't preclude you from installing CHAdeMO, but what's funded under NEVI is the CCS connector.
And then EV infrastructure must have a minimum station power capability at or above 600 kW to support 450 kW charging across those four ports.
Next slide, please.
So as we work with you to provide technical assistance we really want to recognize the significant work that's been done by many of you and by many other stakeholders and your partners over the years to build out electric vehicle charging infrastructure and support the transportation electrification future. So we just want to recognize that the Joint Office doesn't necessarily have the answer to every question, but we're working with partners who have really spent many years thinking strategically about how we can enable transportation electrification. So we've got this idea of a big tent and we want you all to be a part of that so that we can enable a future where everyone can ride and drive electric.
Next slide, please.
So with that I want to introduce you to the Joint Office technical assistance team. We have a core team with more than 50 staff members across 10 organizations that are standing by to work with you. Johanna, Lissa, Matt, and I all come from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. We have expertise in corridor development, data analysis and tools, stakeholder engagement, infrastructure development, those kinds of things.
Mike Scarpino is with DOT's Volpe Center. He's joining us on the webinar today and he has deep experience with alternative fuels through many years working with Clean Cities coalitions and has been one of the leads on Federal Highway's Alternative Fuel Corridors program. And then Torrey is with Idaho National Laboratory and is our lead on equity considerations for the NEVI program. We're also supported by a team at ICF who directs inquiries that come into the state office or the Joint Office and also answer many of those questions. So we have a technical assistance team standing by to help you and we're really looking forward to working with you as you develop your state plans.
Next slide, please.
So as I've noted up to this point, the Joint Office has many areas of emphasis, but our immediate priority is to provide proactive and reactive support to state DOTs as you work through the guidance document that I mentioned earlier and develop state plans and identify questions and analysis needs that you may have to support the development of those plans.
So with that I'm going to turn it over to Johanna Levene, who is going to provide an overview of our proactive technical assistance resources. Thank you.
Johanna Levene: Hi. Thank you, Steve. So my name is Johanna Levene. As Steve mentioned, I work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. I am helping to support the Joint Office transition team by standing up our technical assistance capabilities. This is all things that I am really passionate about, really relevant to my past work. So I've been supporting the Alternative Fuel Data Center for the past 13 years, making sure that we know where stations are, electric charging stations are. That's one of the foundational cornerstone data sets for the Joint Office that we'll be talking about later today.
I also for the past five years have been supporting the Federal Highway Administration and their alternative fuel corridor program. So the bringing together of the data that I've been working with and the analysis I've been working with into like an actual program that's going to foundationally change our transportation system in this country is really exciting to me, and I'm really excited to be able to work with you states to figure out how we make this program work in each individual state, knowing that everyone's coming from a slightly different starting point and a slightly different density of charging stations right now.
So one of the things we did in the Joint Office as the guidance was getting developed was we came up with some proactive technical assistance capabilities. So they were things that we thought the states were going to need ahead of time, and so those have been developed. And so I'm going to walk you through those so you know where they are, you know how to use them. And then Mike Scarpino will come in afterwards and talk a little bit about our reactive technical assistance.
So first of all, as Steve mentioned, we do have a website, DriveElectric.gov. It was launched at the same time as the 90-day guidance. And it is really the place where we encourage you to go to find out information about the Joint Office, about technical assistance, what capabilities we can provide. The 90-day guidance is linked in there that Steve showed in his slide, and as he also mentioned, the state plan template is linked to there. So that's a template that you can use as sort of a starting point as you're putting your state plan together. You can link to the technical assistance concierge there, which is a place where you can get help. And there's also supporting data and tools.
And those are going to change and morph and get updated over time, so this is a website that's constantly changing, constantly being updated. Webinars are posted there. As webinars are being recorded then those recorded webinars are posted there. So do, as you have questions make sure that you check DriveElectric.gov as a place to find information that you may need.
I mentioned our technical assistance concierge service. So this is intended to be similar to, you know, if you could stay at a nice hotel, this is our front door. You walk in, we've got our proactive technical assistance sitting there in the form of our foundational data and tools, case studies, information that we have already that we can provide to you as you come in. We also can answer questions or direct your questions as necessary.
There's three different ways you can access the concierge service. So we do have a phone number, it's a 1-800 number, so you can call and leave a message and we will get back to you. We have a direct e-mail that you can use and that is a great way to contact the concierge service. There's also the contact us form on DriveElectric.gov. The magic of all of this is they all funnel into the same place, so regardless of whether you're coming in with media inquiries or guidance questions or technical assistance requests, those are coming into this tool that we have that's our request management system, and so it allows us to really manage those requests as we get in, make sure that we're being reactive, make sure that if we're getting multiple requests from the state that those are being batched together and we're working to make those connections, both for us and for you.
I would say that we've had some requests that people would like a more personal touch, they'd like a human being who is the person who's in charge of their state or who's in charge of their region from the Joint Office. And I would say we are getting there; we are hoping to be there. But we're a new little growing office and right now we don't have the staff to necessarily have dedicated resources. And so the reason I encourage you to reach out through the DriveElectric.gov capability or our e-mail address is because it allows us to use this system behind the scenes to make sure that we know where all the issues are, we can track the level of urgency of the issues, if things haven't been responded to in a couple days we can escalate those. Spring break is coming up for a lot of folks with kids, so if people are going off on vacation we don't want your e-mail to go into their inbox and then just sort of disappear while they're not available. So this is really a nice way that you can get access to information, get access to resources, and make sure that your issue doesn't get dropped.
This is an old slide; this is as of last week, we had 224 issues, but we are getting a decent number of issues in. And so it's nice to be able to just know that if you contact us we are actually actively tracking and making sure that all of the questions get answered. So we encourage you to use those tools to access the concierge capability.
You are all on a webinar right now, so you know that we're having webinars. Our first webinar that we had was actually just an introduction to the Joint Office. It was a public webinar, which was sort of made for anyone who is interested in the Joint Office. As Steve mentioned, this webinar is a state-specific webinar, so we are really targeting this webinar towards states who are putting together their state plans. And we're going to continue with that sort of cycle of every other one is going to be a public-facing webinar, then the next one will really be a state-facing webinar.
The next one that we have planned, we don't have it on the calendar yet, but watch for it in the next couple weeks, will be Electric Charging and Electric Corridors One-on-One. So if you're new to electric charging, if you're new to electric corridors, or if you're working with people who are new to this and don't know all of the acronyms, you know, when we talk about CHAdeMO and CCS connectors. You know, if that's all stuff to you that you'd like a little more information on, I'd encourage you to log into that Electric Charging and Electric Corridors 101 webinar.
But our goal here is to, you know, based on our state discussions, based on what we're hearing from you, making sure that we're providing the information that you need. The other thing that we're going to try is something that we're calling a workinar, which is, you know, in non-COVID times we'd probably be getting together, we'd be having workshops, we'd be talking about all of this stuff in person. Given that every organization has sort of a different allowable travel situation and different individuals have different comfort levels with traveling right now, we're going to try to do that sort of workshop concept virtually so that we will have, you know, a focus on a section of the state plan, we'll have some slides about it, and then we'll open up mics, open up videos, and just allow us to have a collaboration to figure out how do we work through this section, with a goal by the end to have an outline of like, "Okay, these are the three next steps that I need to take as a state in order to get this section done."
So those are coming soon. We encourage you to watch for those. Those invites will be sent out to the state contacts, because we will want those to be smaller, more intimate working sessions. And so make sure that the Joint Office does have the right state contact for you so that we make sure that we're reaching out to the right person for the introductions and the invites for those workinars.
So now jumping into the foundational data. And like I said, this is really where my expertise lies. So when we were developing the 90-day guidance we did realize that this requirement for the four chargers with CCS connectors supporting a power level of at least 150 kW is new data. Right? It's not information that is publicly available in the AFDC Station Locator. And so we updated our existing corridor page to actually make sure that you as states will be able to download that data in a variety of geospatial formulas. And also it's just a CSV, which has latitude and longitude on it, which you can import into geospatial tool if you want to, but also you can just open it up in Excel and take a look at it.
And this provides you—the data download that you see here on a state-by-state basis provides you the stations in your state that meet the NEVI and the round six requirements. So round six alternative fuel corridor nominations are happening at the same time as this NEVI program, so you're going to need the same data set for both of those. So this page is linked to on DriveElectric.gov. Also the link to it is on this slide. But you can go and you can actually download the data that you need.
One thing to note that's new here is there is data documentation. So you can go in and if you don't know exactly what the field means—like you look at the field name and you don't know what that is, it's in our data documentation. We also put a note here that at the end of the record you will see that there are nine new columns, and these columns are only available from this particular download location. And those give you some counts as far as how many EVSE ports meet these round six and these NEVI requirements, and then how many ports are each different connector type. So it gives you a little more granular information than you can get right now about what that station actually looks like.
Another thing that we provide on this page is this without filters link, actually gives you a list of all of the stations in your state that have at least one DC fast charger. And what that data allows you to do is to look at places where you might be wanting upgrades. So you've got a couple DC fast chargers there, maybe one has CHAdeMO, one has CCS. You know, you'll want to upgrade those so they both have CCS, add a couple more CCS ports there.
So that without filters link is what you're going to look at as you're trying to make your plan and figuring out what stations you want to upgrade. Again, if you have any questions about any of this data feel free to reach out to the Joint Office; we've got experts on hand that can walk you through this if you need to.
Also linked to on that corridor page are links to these other tools that I'm going to show you right now. So this one right here is the potential corridor map. And what this shows you is it shows you where your round one through five corridors are. So your ready corridors are these green lines and your pending corridors are your dashed lines. And then it also shows you, again, the stations that meet the requirements for both NEVI and round six.
The other thing that this does is it shows you—the blue highlighted areas are actually one mile from those corridors as the crow flies and shows you where we believe you have corridors that have met the requirements for NEVI and where you might extend next to make those corridors contiguous across your designated alternative fuel corridor. And so this is a place where you can go to start to, again, making your plans, seeing where you have some gaps, seeing where we think you already have met the robustness required through NEVI in round six. So I encourage you to reach out to this.
This is actually being updated soon, where we're going to have a slightly better data set that's going to show you what your actual corridors look like right now that meet the criteria. So again, make sure that you check this from time to time because we are making updates to it.
Another tool that we have for you is on the AFDC, so the Alternative Fuel Data Center, which is a tool provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for the Department of Energy. There is a third tab there that's this fuel corridors tab, and what this does is, again, sub-selects down to the stations that meet the NEVI and the round six criteria and it allows you to do driving direction estimates. So you can click on the first station, you can click on the last station, and you can make those connections and it will tell you what the distance is between those two corridors, the reminder for NEVI and for round six that needs to be 50 miles or less. And so it will tell you if it meets those requirements. It will also tell you if it meets the requirements of one mile from an interstate highway. At this point in time it's just doing measurements to interstate highways; it's not looking at all the different nominated corridors. We're working on that. But it will allow you to measure those driving distances, which is really nice, right, if you have a question as to how far apart are these stations, how many stations do I need to put in to bridge this gap, this tool will allow you to do that.
The other thing that we encourage you to do is if you're on our Station Locator and you know that there's a station that your state has put in, a partner has put in, and it's not showing up, we do allow you to submit new stations there. So you can click on that and submit a new station. Or if you'd like to, you can just reach out to the Joint Office and say, "Hey, this station exists" and we'll make sure that it gets added to the database. Because this is the data that we'll use to validate your state plans. This is sort of that foundational data for stations.
Another thing I'll point out is this is embeddable, so if you go to the Joint Office website we actually have this embedded on the Joint Office website. You can embed this on your own website. So if for some reason you are working with partners and you want to make this more accessible, this is a tool that you can actually use on your own website.
Another place that I encourage you to check out is the Federal Highways Administration tools, and they have that foundational data on the corridors. So while we use their data extensively in the tools that I just showed you, if you want the actual shape files for these corridors so you know what corridors exist in your sate, you can get a sense of what corridors you might want to nominate. If you go to the Federal Highways Administration site, also linked to from DriveElectric.gov, you can download data from the download link that gives you your corridors. There's also other really good information in there that might be helpful for your state plans. So things like what's the traffic density along those highways, so you can see how much traffic is actually there and maybe decide that four chargers isn't enough for that particular roadway; maybe you want to actually put more chargers in on that roadway. So there's some good data sets there relevant to the national highway system and the alternative fuel corridors that we think you'll find really useful. So I encourage you to check this out as well.
Again, an interactive map, you can zoom in and out. If you would rather look at this map you can also turn our stations on here. So there's a wealth of information available from this site as well.
The last proactive set of tools that I want to talk about are equity and Justice40 tools. So I highlight two here in particular as critical equity tools. So one was developed by Argonne National Lab; it's the Electrical Vehicle Charging Justice40 Map, and the screenshot of it is there. Again, you can see the very familiar corridors that are layered there, and then you can also see that there are shaded areas, which represent places where the DOT and the DOE have determined are eligible for Justice40 considerations.
And so the link to that map is on here. Again, all of these tools are on DriveElectric.gov. The Energy Justice Dashboard, the EJ Screen Tool were both preexisting tools prior to the efforts that came forth from NEVI. The other tool that was developed specifically for NEVI was this Rural EV Toolkit, which was developed by the Department of Transportation. It's a great place to go if you're considering implementing rural chargers in your state, if that's something that's going to be important for you to be able to meet the requirements of the NEVI program, I encourage you to look there.
We do, as Steve mentioned, have an equity expert on staff at Joint Office. I know that this is one of those new requirements that you may have a lot of questions about. It's not part of the former Alternative Fuel Corridors program, so Torrey Lyons can definitely help if you have any questions in this area. It's also a place where we're really continuing to refine what those requirements are and the best practices are, so continue to watch out for what's coming on DriveElectric.gov and this space.
So those are all of our proactive tools. I'm going to hand this over now to Mike Scarpino and he's going to talk to you about our reactive capabilities.
Mike Scarpino: All right. Hey, everyone. As Johanna said, I'm Mike Scarpino. I'm slightly out of breath; I've been trying to get all sorts of answers going in the chat. Just a quick introduction; I work for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Volpe Center. I've been involved with alternative fuels going back to the '90s and this is my 25th year working for both Development of Energy on the Clean Cities program and then have been working with the Department of Transportation since 2013 with still supporting DOE and Clean Cities, but also helping to stand up the Federal Highway Alt Fuel Corridors Designation Program, and I'm now part of the transition team of the Joint Office. So happy to be speaking with you today.
You can go to the next slide, Johanna.
All right, so as part of the reactive technical assistance one of the important things that we've been doing is getting together with a group of you folks in the states—typically it would be the state DOTs, but there's been other key stakeholders that have been participating in these meetings. So one of the important things, really I would say the primary function of the Joint Office is to provide technical assistance to the states to assist them with putting together the state plans required under the NEVI program and basically we're looking to help you along the way, to almost partner with you as you're developing these.
So one of the things that we are doing is we're fielding questions that are coming into the concierge service that Johanna described, but once we get to the point where either you have a bunch of questions or we've gone back and forth a few times, we're saying, "Hey, let's meet in person." So in these one-on-one meetings we certainly will be addressing all the questions that you have, but then we'll also be providing just an overview of some of general assistance, the tools and resources that we have available for you as you're developing your plans, the Alt Fuel Corridor Designation Program is so intertwined along with NEVI because the funding has to go along designated corridors. So, you know, we do end up talking about the current round six of corridor nominations and some clarifications on what's been published in the 90-day program guidance. As Steve mentioned, that came out on February 10th. And then looking ahead to the 180-day minimum standards and requirements that will be coming up mid-May, how will that affect what you're working on.
You can go to the next slide.
So in terms of what we're hearing, either through questions submitted into the Joint Office system or in the actual one-on-one meetings that we've had, obviously as each of you are out there trying to implement this program we are hearing some common themes on the questions, and some of these stats here just say on the left that as of the end of February, 40 states have reached out through the Joint Office concierge service and that we've had five one-on-ones, but it seems like we're having one-on-ones every day, so I bet that number's probably closer to 10 or more.
But some of the common things that we're hearing about both in the NEVI program and in the corridor round six, there is some language around exceptions. So everybody always wants to jump right to the exceptions. Most of the exceptions people are asking are about the 50-mile distance between EV charging sites and the one-mile distance off the highway. So the way we're handling exceptions is we're not just going to give you some blanket, "Hey, you can always do this." We really want to work with folks on a one-on-one basis, you know, show us your corridor, show us your analysis, show us that, hey, from between this station and that station there's 60 miles and there's nothing but tumbleweeds in between. So these are the things that when you identify exceptions and we start a discussion on those, these are the things that we're going to need. We're not just going to talk in general terms, we really want to dig down, look at your analysis, and either pull in experts to help or get to the point where we completely understand what you're asking for.
Concierge is another question that continues to come up. Some of those details are still kind of under development, so we may not be able to answer every concierge question. And with a lot of these too, you know, the state DOTs have had the long relationship of working with their Federal Highway Division offices, they may be on some of those questions better prepared to answer those than us, but if they're technically related to the actual site of the chargers and where do you draw the line, you know, we'll be working closely with the division offices to help clarify that.
Some states have asked can we delegate this work to other state agencies? The energy office usually handles this. We don't do this at a state DOT. What is that process? So that's something that we're working for and looking for some standard answers, but the unofficial answer is you can partner with other state agencies, but the ultimate responsibility to implement these funds still lies with the state DOT, so any agreements that they have to shifting some work to other state agencies, it has to be done in a way that leaves the ultimate responsibility with the state DOT.
Other questions have come up, and I just saw one in the chat, you know, we've been designating corridors for five years, the new NEVI standards and the new round six has changed the criteria for electric vehicles. You know, what is the strategy for designating new corridors and for those that may have orders that they are no longer interested or are no longer a priority in their state for the NEVI funding, you know, is there a process of de-designation, and those are the things we have been talking with folks.
Maybe I'll stop on this slide and you can just read the rest.
And I'll go to the next one.
So as part of the tools that Johanna described nicely, some of the tools that are on our website, and I'll just say that we would consider as you're working on your plans, you know, look at what's on the website. I'm not sure you can read on the right-hand side, but if you go to the DriveElectric.gov website there's a great list of all these tools and resources that are available. Now some of them may seem complicated, you're not familiar, how do I use these? Well, that's back to where the Joint Office can help you either through one-on-one meetings where we talk about these in general terms, or give you a specific assistance on working your way through those tools. And if us at the Joint Office may not have the exact answers, one of the abilities that we have under this big tent philosophy is we can pull in the experts from the national labs that have actually put these tools together and work our way through that. So we feel like we're the gateway to all sorts of expertise and assistance, and whether or not we can answer that question directly, we definitely know folks that can.
You can go to the next slide.
So what was on the last slide, but this shows in better kind of detail, this came up a couple of years ago when we were working with the west states. We did some analysis. You know, they were looking at the time at the 50-mile criteria between sites and let us know that based on the geography of the west, and the mountain west, there are times where just they can't meet that. So we did some analysis for it, looking at both Nevada and Idaho—and you can't see these real details. But basically they came to us, they showed us where stations either are or they were looking at, and in those cases where perhaps the 50-mile limit would be exceeded we pulled in folks from the national labs, did some drilling down, looked at what was available at various exits.
So these are the kind of things that—now this is the type of analysis that we're really going to be able to help you with. Johanna had mentioned some of the resources for Justice40 on the Argonne site. You know, those are also things—we've got Torrey from INL that will be able to do a deeper dive on any sort of Justice40 and equity questions that you may encounter as you're developing your plans.
I think that's everything we want to talk about on this slide. Next one, please.
So here's the important dates. Obviously in the past, November—February 10—is when the program guidance rolled out and round six. May 13th, we like to do things on the same day; that's when round six nominations are due for the corridors. And then also on that day, that is when, as required by the legislation, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the 180-day minimum standards will be published. So that will be something else that states will want to be aware of as they're putting out their RFPs and developing their plans, there may be some more requirements beyond what's in the formula program guidance that you'll have to consider.
All state plans are due on August 1st. Our hope is that you will be engaged with us all along the way, between now and then, with questions and helping with analysis. So when that state plan shows up on August 1st, whoever you've been working with at the Joint Office has seen it, is very familiar with it, and hopefully the review process goes quickly. What we don't want to have is just a plan shows up that we haven't talked to anybody or haven't seen for the first time and it's full of exceptions and areas that's going to require a deep dive. We'd like the process to go smooth because we really have a short turnaround time, August 1st to submit them, and you could submit them ahead of time if you'd like. And we have to wrap everything up in two months, by September 30th. And actually while we'll be doing a lot of the reviews we'll be working hand-in-hand with Federal Highway because they have the ultimate authority in approving those state plans.
Next. I think that's the last one. Yeah, all right. So we'll flip over to question mode. I don't know if Steve and Johanna have also been answering in the chat, but we'll start working our way through those right now.
Steve Lommele: Yeah. Hi, Mike. I think we've addressed all of the current questions in the chat. So if you've been following along hopefully you've seen the answer to those. And now it looks like some are starting to come in, so we'll attempt to handle those now.
Let's see. So first question here that we haven't answered yet, "If states intend to submit before August 1st is there an expectation that information on May 13th would impact the plans?" So I think that refers to the 180-day minimum standards that will be available on May 13th. And we would encourage you to wait for those, that additional minimum standards to be available before submitting your plans. Anything to add there, Mike?
Mike Scarpino: No. Again, that is something that if you go to the NEVI Formula Program Guide. It's in—I can't remember what page it is. It lists all the things that are being evaluated for the minimum standards. So when you look through that list I'm sure you'll probably come to the same conclusion, well, I obviously can't finish my plan till I know a little more about these things that are potentially coming out.
Page 27, bottom of page 27 on the program guide. So wait for that and we'll see how that may impact.
Steve Lommele: And let's see, there's another question here, "Is there a negative to designating more routes as corridor pending than funding allows us to address?"
Mike Scarpino: So we receive this a lot. Again, you want to handle it? Yeah, so what we've been telling the states is it's really a strategic decision on behalf of the state. So for five years we've been designating corridors. While we were doing that it looked like a planning process, you know, the main goal is putting signs on the highway. Well, when the bill came out, the bill tied to the funding as $7.5 billion to putting—charging the $5 billion under NEVI along designated corridors. So that bill said you need to have a corridor designated to apply funding to. Many folks, many states have designated many corridors, so this is back to what is your strategy. If you feel like you've got enough designated corridors in your state at this point.
And the other thing about the bill language, it said build out designated corridors, number one. And then if there's remaining funds you have the flexibility to apply those funds elsewhere in the state, any public road, we're calling that communities. So really it's a strategic decision. If I build out what is currently designated will there be funds remaining? Is that a priority in the state? If your priority is, "We want to build out the highways" then designate as necessary. If you want that flexibility to maybe thinking off corridors and in the communities then I would designate or not designate anymore. And I'll just leave it at that.
Johanna Levene: And, Mike, I think one thing to note is that we are building a national network, so part of why we have said in the guidance that there will not be any fully built out states in this first year is because of the requirement of a national network. So there is an expectation that interstates will be built out at the bare minimum, because if you build out the interstates then you do have a network. So if you're looking at your state and there are roadways that are interstate roads that you haven't nominated, we would encourage you to nominate those roadways and make sure those are part of your state plan.
The other thing that will happen I think in future years is as we look towards your neighboring states and seeing which roads they've designated there may be some conversations around when it makes sense to connect those touchpoints from state to state. But again, that's something that we'll be looking at in future years.
But do definitely take a look at your interstates and consider nominating those and start building out those roadways.
Steve Lommele: Sorry, just looking at the questions here. I know Michael King had another question about Level Two, and I think Matt Moniot answered that in the chat. I noted that the minimum is 450 kW CCS ports and it has not yet been determined if CHAdeMO or level two could be eligible as add-ons.
Another question here about how long it will take to approve the designations submitted on May 13th. So I think that's related to the round six corridor designations and it's expected that those approvals will move pretty quickly, like they have in the past.
Johanna Levene: Yeah. I would also say that in the tools that I was mentioning one of those upgrades that we said we were providing was to be able to do some more like predictive corridor designation, so that we can say like we've run the analysis and we think this is going to be a ready corridor, so that the ready corridors hopefully should go pretty quickly and then the pending corridors will just be a matter of making sure that those are either roadways that have a station that you're planning on upgrading. But yeah, we're hoping that those will move quickly so that you'll have those available for your NEVI plans.
Steve Lommele: And then let's see. To clarify, current corridor-ready designations are no longer ready if they do not meet the new standards?
I'm not sure I totally understand the question here, but –
Johanna Levene: Yeah, Mike, do you want take that or do you want me to take that?
Mike Scarpino: Yeah, sure. So once again, in the previous five rounds we had the criteria for corridor ready. That criteria has been upgraded for round six to align with the NEVI standards for fully built out four-port CCS 450 kW, 600 kW total station. But it is the intention of Federal Highway, and they've said that in several forms, we will not be de-designating anybody. So if you had a corridor-ready pending, a corridor-ready designation, we're not going to bump you down to pending.
But really at this point I'm not sure if it matters if you're pending or ready. You have to be designated, so if you're designated as either ready or pending then you can apply the funding, the NEVI funding, to those stations to upgrade them to the new NEVI requirements. And those are the requirements that will need to be achieved to meet the fully built out status that will need to be certified by Federal Highway. It's kind of confusing, but I hope that's clear.
Steve Lommele: And a question here about additional rounds of designation after round six, and I think it is anticipated that there will be future opportunities to designate corridors.
Mike Scarpino: Yeah, we plan to continue to do that on an annual basis.
Steve Lommele: There's an apportionment question. I think, Mike, you answered that in the chat with a link to the apportionment content for Federal Highways.
Mike Scarpino: Yeah, I'm not sure how the formula works, but that apportionment memo tells you who gets what. You know, how Alaska was calculated I can't say.
Steve Lommele: And I think there was a follow-up question too, Mike. I mean you kind of talked through the pros and cons of designating additional corridors and kind of what the strategy of the state was. So this said "Am I safe to simplify the answer that there are no negatives?" And I think it kind of depends on what your strategy is, so the answer is it depends on your strategy.
Johanna Levene: I mean, yeah. I think that when we talk about it, you can use NEVI funding on any corridor that's been nominated as an Alternative Fuel Corridor. So if you have a strong plan, you know which corridors you want to build out and you want to start building all of those out right away, then there isn't a negative, because if that's your priority, is building out those corridors, then nominate your roads, use the NEVI funding to build those out.
I think if there is a negative it is, like Mike was saying, once you reach that fully built out status then the funds that are left that are still available under the formula program can be used for things like community charging or to build out intrastate corridors. So you have to balance those priorities of your state between is it more important to build out your intra and interstate corridors? Like is that what you really want to use this funding for? Or are you thinking that you're going to want to build those out, you know, those foundational corridors, and then use the rest of the funding for other priorities in your state, whether those are supporting underserved communities or whether those are regional corridors which may not actually extend beyond your state boundaries.
So, Jim, there's definitely some nuance to all that, and I think that's one of those places where we have been successful in having state one-on-ones and sort of talking through what those different scenarios look like for your state, given the corridors that you have designated now, the roadways that you have designated now, and the strategy of what you're trying to accomplish from a state perspective.
Mike Scarpino: There was a question, Steve, that I don't think we answered, from Lynn that said "Is it required that the interstates be built out first, or if there are designated corridors off the interstates can the NEVI funds be invested there now?"
So the NEVI funds can be applied to any designated corridor. So whether that be an interstate or U.S. and state roads, which we've, you know, designated originally. Now the guidance talks about interstates being a priority, but the formula funds are under the control of the state, so you could start building out those others.
'Cause in many states we know that those U.S. or state roads can be as big a priority, have as much traffic—truck traffic. You know, it's an important corridor as interstates. That's up to the states.
Johanna Levene: And I think Mike has a question around ready and built-out being different standards at this point. So I think—it was funny, Mike Scarpino and I actually had a whole conversation around we've got a slide where we talk about that and should that be in the state technical assistance call or should that be in the EV101/AFC101 webinar that we're doing next. So we're actually going to talk about that quite a bit I think in the next webinar. But yeah, right now we sort of see it as a continuum, where it's like corridor pending, corridor ready, fully built out. Right? So it is a different standard. So I think your understanding of that is correct.
Steve Lommele: Do we anticipate that August 1st will be the due date in the future for annual plan updates? Will there be updated guidance as planning and implementation progresses annually?
I mean I don't know that we know at this point.
Mike Scarpino: We're working on a minute-to-minute basis here.
Johanna Levene: But it is a good question. We could take that back to the leadership who potentially is thinking about that. At this point that's not in our purview.
Steve Lommele: If you have other questions go ahead and enter them into the chat. I think we've worked through almost all of these.
Johanna Levene: Yeah. If we've missed any you can re-enter them in the chat; we won't be offended.
And while we have a moment I was also going to—I didn't on the last webinar—but acknowledge the fact that Joanna and Cass are behind the scenes from NREL here and they are making the magic of all this technology happen. So in addition to the Joint Office folks we saw, we also have a team behind the scenes who is making sure that questions get answered and making sure that technology works. So thanks to them, because it's a lot to put these on.
Mike Scarpino: Dare I try to pull up that slide.
Steve Lommele: We do have a –
Mike Scarpino: Oh, you get another question?
Johanna Levene: Yeah, I think –
Steve Lommele: We have a couple questions coming in. And I did want to address, there was a question about frequently asked questions, and we have been collecting those and we are using those questions to inform future resources that we develop through the Joint Office, content that we develop for DriveElectric.gov, and also webinars and workinars that we're going to be hosting. So if you have not yet signed up for our news alerts you can do that at DriveElectric.gov, at the bottom, enter your e-mail address there. And that's the best way to stay current on when we're going to be providing new resources out to you as you develop your state plans.
I'm going to read this question here. Secondary question to Colleen's, "Would we not be authorized to spend year two funds until a year two plan is submitted or if our year one plan is our approach and still have alternative fuel quarters to build out, would states be able to use that funding?"
Johanna or Mike, are you able to tackle that one?
Johanna Levene: I muted myself. When Mike shared a screen I lost my little chat form, and that's a complicated question. Mike, do you want to go through this and then we can tackle that question?
Mike Scarpino: Yeah, 'cause I heard it, but I didn't hear it. So this is a slide that I've used on other presentations, and if you happened to be on the EPA one on the west coast at 1 p.m. I'll probably go over this again.
So I tried to just capture, because it is confusing. So your pending corridor criteria, that really, nothing's different there. Insufficient coverage. One thing that folks are asking that I'll throw out here is there's always been a requirement that you at least have one station to get a pending designation. But there's always been this asterisk that said if you don't have any sites, but the state has some plan or strategy, timeline—at the time we thought of VW funding, you know, we would allow the corridor pending. So question has come up, if I plan to include this corridor as part of my NEVI state plan, due on August 1st, would that meet this requirement for us to say there is a plan for this corridor? And we've said yes. So in your designation nomination you would have to reference the fact that this will be included in the next one.
So moving on, the ready corridors, as we've said, has kind of changed and it's changed quite a bit over the years. First round allowed level two, rounds two through three could've been either CHAdeMO or CCS, rounds four through five had to be both CCS and CHAdeMO, and then the current round six mirrors what's in NEVI. So 50 miles or less, one mile or less off the highway, requirements for four ports, and the power levels, 150 kW, 600 kW total.
Then you can see on—no, what did I do here? Back—sorry.
The NEVI requirements are very similar, so 50 miles, one mile, the four ports, the power, with the caveat down at the bottom that there might be more to achieve fully built out based on what comes out in the 180-day minimum standards and requirements. So at that point there might be more for fully built out than what we've upgraded ready to under round six. I don't know that this slide helps, but it tries to at least visually say what's happening.
And then the note, Federal Highway does not plan to change the status of previously designated corridors. And then all corridors will need to meet the NEVI requirements to be considered fully built out.
I'm going to back out of that.
Steve Lommele: So there was a question here about clarification on the one-mile requirement, and I think that is intended to be driving distance, not as the crow flies.
Mike Scarpino: Yes, everything—all of our requirements are based on driving distance. Is my screen up?
Johanna Levene: Yep, you're good.
Mike Scarpino: Okay. Okay, good. Yeah, all based on driving distance.
Now another question has come up, an off-ramp off the highway could be a half-mile. Is that included in the one mile, 'cause one mile really isn't a lot? No, once you get off the off-ramp you're going to turn left, turn right, or go straight, whatever it may be, onto the off-the-highway road, that's where we'll start the mile, 'cause we don't want to waste any of that mile on an off-ramp.
Johanna Levene: Right. And that's complicated, right? So the tools that we have that I showed you earlier, we're doing our best to make sure that's consistent, but to a certain extent we're also subject to the limitations of the routing software that we use. So if you do have questions around a specific interchange or a specific roadside please reach out, 'cause we can help you determine where that mile actually starts and whether or not you're okay if it says 1.2 miles or 1.5 miles, but it's a long exit ramp.
Steve, which question did you—was it Natasha's question around year two funds that you asked before?
Steve Lommele: Yeah, if our year one plan is still—let's see. Are we not authorized to spend year two funds until year two plan is submitted?
Johanna Levene: I do not know the answer to that question. I don't know how that sends –
Mike Scarpino: Yeah, that is a good question.
Johanna Levene: Yeah, we'll have to follow back up on that one.
Mike Scarpino: A couple of times I've put in the chat that really, you know, the state DOT's relationship with your Federal Highway Division Office, that shouldn't change. So I know many of you work very closely with them and they are really the source to answer a lot of these questions. so that may be more of a funding timing thing that really would be better handled by them as opposed to a lot of the technical assistance, you know, more related to the actual deployment of this equipment.
But we should know that and we'll try to find that out.
Johanna Levene: Yeah.
Steve Lommele: There are a number of questions about summarizing this meeting and having access to the slides afterwards. So we will be posting this recording or the recording from Tuesday meeting on DriveElectric.gov, so you'll be able to view all of this again.
We had a question on Tuesday too similar to this one, about the actual funding available to each state and kind of exactly what it will be in future years, and I think that's also a question that we don't have the exact answer to.
Mike Scarpino: Well, I mean if you look at the apportionment memo it gives the details, so the program is $1 billion a year. The only thing that's really different this year from future years is $300 million is taken off the top to fund the effort of the Joint Office for the next five years. So you start with $1 billion, you take off the $300 million, and then there's a couple more things that get shaved off, the 10 percent that will come out in a discretionary grant program to provide additional support to states and localities. And then there's a little that gets pulled off for Federal Highway and other administration. So in future years you won't pull that $300 million off, so there will be more funds that go to the states. And really that's all we know. You know, Federal Highway does the apportionment.
Johanna Levene: I think it's probably worth it on DriveElectric.gov for us to provide links to those different documents, because it is complicated and it is confusing.
I saw that Matthew Bentley had a question that I think I can answer pretty quick around the interactive map or the potential round six routes in blue, do they meet the criteria as fully built out. So those meet the station criteria as we know them right now with regards to fully built out. The minimum standards are still coming, so there may be other requirements for those stations that need to be met. But yeah, that is the goal of those blue sections. They're not perfect; it is as the crow flies directions, as I mentioned, and there are some oddities that happened in the GIS world that, you know, sometimes they're not exactly accurate, but that's a great guidance to start from as far as which of your roadways are starting to meet those NEVI criteria for fully built out.
Steve Lommele: We have one minute left. A question here about how quickly we want stations to be built. And there is a goal for stations to be completed not later than six months from procurement. What is considered the date of procurement?
I would assume that's the date at which you have signed contracts to install stations, but the goal is really to make sure that these stations don't take years and years to build.
Johanna Levene: So for the questions that we didn't get a chance to answer, we will follow up with you and make sure that you do get answers. I also encourage you, like I said, if we missed a question or if we didn't answer a question fully, please submit those to DriveElectric.gov so we can get back to you and make sure that you get the answer that meets your needs.
We really appreciate the interactive back-and-forth in the chat. In a perfect world we would open up mics and talk, but with hundreds of us online that is difficult right now. So we appreciate you being willing to work with the technology and with us on this.
Steve Lommele: Yeah. Thanks, everyone. We appreciate all the questions. And again, if we didn't get to you please do contact us on DriveElectric.gov and we will follow up. Thanks, everyone.
Johanna Levene: Thanks.
Mike Scarpino: Thank you.
Steve Lommele: Bye.