2.7 Identify funding sources for supporting PEV deployment
Reason for action
Grants can enable financing for public fleet, charging infrastructure deployment, readiness studies, collaborative research with automakers, and more. Funding sources include federal agencies, state legislative authorization, public-private partnerships, private foundations, and non-profits.
Implementing the action
- Take steps to increase staff proficiency with applying for PEV grants. See Actions 1.3 Dedicate a staff member as the lead on PEVs and 2.1 Share best practices by participating in national and regional dialogues.
- Find the right institutional funding sources. Funds from the federal Highway Trust Fund have rigid guidelines and are not easily spent on non-highway activities. However, federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Funds (CMAQ) and Surface Transportation Funding (STP) allow for spending on charging infrastructure and public fleet PEVs (see Sections 1113 and 1108 of MAP-21, the most recent transportation reauthorization bill). States may also have special funds for PEV deployment.
- Include the appropriate stakeholders necessary for securing funding. Spotlight: Several transportation departments noted that the department that controls CMAQ funds might be unfamiliar with PEV deployment. Securing CMAQ funds would require collaborative work and support from both the CMAQ representative at the state DOT as well as the FHWA field division office.
- Monitor DOE and DOT websites and other communication mediums for funding opportunities. Charging infrastructure and electric vehicle deployment funding has been driven by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). By now, much of the original appropriations from the 2009 Recovery Act have been spent, but some programs have continued to obtain funding. States may partner with or support local Clean Cities Coalitions to apply for U.S. DOE funds. Spotlight: Oregon built part of the West Coast Electric Highway by winning Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.
- Understand the provisions of different funding sources. Depending on the source of funding, there may be drastically different requirements. Spotlight: DOE funding may emphasize Davis-Bacon requirements whereas DOT may emphasize hazardous material requirements as part of the National Environmental Policy Act.
- Contact other state DOTs, such as Oregon state DOT, that have applied for grants to obtain copies of successful past grants.
- Explore innovative charging station finance options such as joint public-private financing. Public-private partnerships for financing charging infrastructure are becoming increasingly important as Recovery Act funds are spent. Spotlight: Volta Electric in Hawaii pays for the cost of charging by selling advertisements on charging stations.This way, the property hosting the charging station does not have to pay for electricity.
The DOT has identified funding sources for charging station installation, public fleet PEVs, research, and policy/planning studies. The DOT gains experience with grant applications.