On Feb. 15, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration released its final rule establishing the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program.
The NEVI Formula Program will implement provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law in 2021, that include $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations (including $5 billion over five years to install EV chargers mostly along interstate highways). The intent of the program is to support the installation of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers across the country by 2030 as part of a domestic push to shift away from gas-powered vehicles.
The final rule contains a number of concerning labor provisions. It requires that all electricians working on electric vehicle supply equipment either be certified by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Electric Vehicle Industry Training Program or be a graduate or recipient of a continuing education certificate from a government-registered apprenticeship program with a focus on EVSE installation approved by the U.S. Department of Labor in consultation with the DOT. Additionally, the proposed rule requires all NEVI-funded projects that require more than one electrician to use at least one GRAP-enrolled apprentice.
ABC previously submitted comments in response to the proposed rule and a request for information, urging the DOT to avoid union labor requirements and to instead welcome all qualified contractors to build EV chargers. Unfortunately, the agency disregarded these recommendations in the final rule.
The rule will now take effect 30 days after being published in the Federal Register.
The DOT also released its implementation plan for Buy America requirements on construction materials used for assembly of EV chargers funded by the NEVI Formula Program. These requirements will be waived until June 30, 2024.