FHWA Issues $150M in Grants to Upgrade EV Chargers

The Federal Highway Administration recently awarded nearly $150 million to 24 grant recipients in 20 states to make existing electric vehicle or EV charging infrastructure more reliable.

[Above photo by the FHWA]

The agency said that grant funding will go towards repairing or replacing nearly 4,500 existing EV charging ports nationwide and, in some cases, bringing them up to code. The FHWA said those targeted investments complement the billions in federal and private sector funding already issued to help reach President Biden’s ’s goal of bringing at least 500,000 public EV chargers online by the end of the decade.

The funding for this $150 million grant award comes from the new “EV Charger Reliability and Accessibility Accelerator” program within the $5 billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI formula program created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The FHWA initially made $100 million available via a notice of funding opportunity or NOFO in September 2023 to help states and localities repair and replace existing but non-operational EV charging systems.

That NOFO stipulated a 10 percent set-aside for states or localities that require additional assistance to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure. As a result, the agency said this first round of EV charger repair/replacement funding focuses on improving the reliability and accessibility of the current EV charging network.

“Charging your electric vehicle should be as easy and convenient as filling up a gas tank – and these grants will help do that by making our EV charging network more reliable,” said FHWA Administrator Shailen Bhatt in a statement. “We’re building a bigger and better EV charging network to keep up with driver demand, and we’re also ensuring the existing network works when you need a charge.”

FHWA is coordinating with the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation or JOET – an office overseen by both the U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Energy – as it supports the build-out of an EV recharging network across the United States.

“Making it easy for everyone to ride and drive electric means making sure that drivers can always count on EV charging stations to work when they’re needed,” added Gabe Klein, JOET executive director. “Repairing and replacing existing stations gives drivers the confidence they need to choose electric, complementing the buildout of much-needed, new infrastructure while creating good jobs across the country.”

Minnesota Cities Getting Active Transportation Grants

Eight cities across Minnesota are set to receive grants from the Active Transportation Planning Assistance program, which is managed by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]

That program aims to help cities statewide increase the number of people walking and biking to destinations in their communities, noted Will Wlizlo, active transportation coordinator for the Minnesota DOT.

“Whether a community wants to reduce pollution, curb traffic, revitalize its Main Street, or increase residents’ health and safety, [our] Active Transportation Planning Assistance program brings together neighbors to dream big and develop a work plan for building their own network for walking and bicycling,” he said in a statement.

The agency noted that the Minnesota legislature provides funds for those grants, which cover the estimated $100,000 cost of technical assistance from a consultant, such as developing an action plan and demonstration project.

The Minnesota DOT added that each community receiving an award is ultimately responsible for implementation and construction costs of their active transportation action plan.

The agency noted that the eight cities receiving grants are:

  • Minneapolis, for a multi-corridor study for seven neighborhood greenways;
  • Rochester, for an active transportation connection plan along 2nd Street through the downtown area;
  • St. Paul, for a neighborhood active transportation study for the West Side neighborhood;
  • Coon Rapids, for a community-wide active transportation plan;
  • Roseville, to develop a bicycle master plan;
  • Alexandria, for a community-wide active transportation plan;
  • St. Peter, for a community-wide active transportation plan; and,
  • Cannon Falls, for a community-wide active transportation plan.

State departments of transportation are currently involved in a variety of efforts to increase active transportation across the country.

For example, in November 2023, the Texas Transportation Commission approved over $345 million for new sidewalks, bikeways, and other types of active transportation infrastructure projects statewide.

That funding will go towards 83 projects designed to improve bicycle and pedestrian access while providing safety enhancements and mobility options to schools, jobs, public transit systems, and local destinations, the commission said.

The Texas Department of Transportation noted that funding includes support for 15 active transportation planning studies.

And in Maryland, Governor Wes Moore (D) highlighted the award of $25.5 million in grants to 40 bicycle, pedestrian and trail projects statewide in September 2023.

Those fiscal year 2024 grants include $20.8 million in federal funding for 22 projects through the national Transportation Alternatives Program and the Recreational Trails Program, with $4.7 million in state funding headed to 18 projects via the Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program overseen by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Environmental News Highlights – January 24, 2024


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DOE Announces $34 Million to Improve the Reliability, Resiliency, and Security of America’s Power Grid -US Department of Energy (media release)



NY Congestion Pricing Plan Violates US Constitution, NJ Governor Says –CityLab

North Dakota DOT to build EV charging stations -WZFG Radio

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Recycled Roadways That Charge EVs Are Closer Than You Think -Government Technology

How innovations in sustainable engineering are shaping the energy systems. -ET Energyworld (opinion)



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Buttigieg Compares Current EV Charger Push To 1930s New Deal Airport Boom –Jalopnik

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To Ease Housing Crunch, Theme Parks Are Becoming Homebuilders –CityLab

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The Best New US Bike Lanes of 2023 -People for Bikes

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Transportation for People with Disabilities and Older Adults in COVID-19 -TRB (webinar)

Homelessness: A Guide for Public Transportation –TCRP

200 US cities will fall short of sustainable energy goals despite pledging to transition by 2050, says study -Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability



Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail -Advisory Council/Forest Service (Notice of meeting)

Marine and Coastal Area-Based Management Advisory Committee Meeting -National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Notice of open public meeting)

Shipping Safety Fairways Along the Atlantic Coast -Coast Guard (Notice of proposed rulemaking)

Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC); Notice of Public Meeting -EPA (Notice of meeting)