Wolf administration highlights benefits of bipartisan infrastructure law

On Friday, officials from the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Environmental Protection (DEP) highlighted the benefits to Pennsylvania of passing the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Act (BIL), particularly to electric vehicles (EV) and alternative fuel infrastructure.

PennDOT also unveiled its Electric Vehicle Equity Guiding Principles for private industry and other agencies to consider when planning and deploying electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The principles are intended to increase accessibility to infrastructure and maximize benefits for all Pennsylvanians.

“PennDOT and our sister agency partners are well positioned to advance our electric vehicle transportation and charging networks to meet current and future needs,” said PennDOT Acting Deputy Executive Secretary Melissa Batula. “These investments are a significant opportunity, and we are committed to providing benefits across the state.”

Signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021, BIL provides states with $7.5 billion to expand the electric vehicle charging network. Over five years, Pennsylvania will have access to $171.5 million in formula funding for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and $2.5 billion in discretionary grant funding opportunities for all fueling infrastructure. alternative fuel. The funding supports the Commonwealth’s goal of expanding electric vehicle charging along previously designated Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) (list) and lookalike interstates. Federal AFC criteria were updated this week to require AFC-designated ready lanes to have charging stations within 1 mile of a freeway exit or freeway intersection (previously 5 miles) and within 50 miles of each other. The ministry will review all corridors to align ready and waiting corridors with the new criteria.

“DEP is grateful for the support from federal infrastructure and excited to partner with PennDOT to expand charging station locations across the state as we work to bring the health and environmental benefits of zero-emissions transportation to all Pennsylvanians,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

Funds for the formula will flow through PennDOT and will be primarily focused on developing electric charging infrastructure on AFCs, moving miles from pending status to ready status. According to PennDOT’s latest update, there are currently 1,051 Interstate miles pending and 692 Interstate miles in ready status, based on the previous designation criteria. If PennDOT determines, and US DOT certifies, that the AFCs are fully constructed, Pennsylvania may use funds to construct EV charging equipment on any public road or in any publicly accessible location, including , but not limited to, parking lots in public buildings, schools and parks.

The new discretionary grant program will allow eligible Pennsylvania entities such as municipalities, school districts, planning organizations and others to apply for funds to help local communities install, operate and maintain electric vehicle charging equipment. Grant funds will also be available for school bus fleet electrification and EV battery manufacturing and recycling programs.

PennDOT and DEP – following guidelines issued by the US DOT – will collaborate with key stakeholders such as grid companies, planning partners and enterprises on the development of electric vehicle charging. The recently announced principles of fairness will help the department evaluate EV proposals in accordance with federal guidelines and fall into five categories:

  • make electric vehicles more affordable;
  • Make electric vehicle charging more accessible;
  • Invest in the electrification of the fleet;
  • Invest in traditionally underserved, low-income, colored and otherwise vulnerable population areas; and
  • Increase awareness, education and technical capacity of electric vehicles.

Previous Commonwealth work and new funding will support the growing use of electric vehicles and industry transitions. There are more than 23,000 electric vehicles registered in Pennsylvania, more than double the roughly 9,700 registered in March 2019 as an option on its traffic plan. Using data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the map shows locations across the state by connector type, including CCS, J1772, CHAdeMO, Tesla, and NEMA.

More information about PennDOT’s Alternative Fuel Corridors can be found on the department’s website.

More information about electric vehicles in Pennsylvania, including details about the DEP Alternative Fuels Rebate which offers higher rebates on the purchase of new or used electric vehicles to income-eligible Pennsylvanians, can be found here. on the DEP website.