Use These Exciting EV Charging Incentives to Fund Your Commercial Charging Station

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ev charging station
There are billions of dollars of electric vehicle (EV) charging incentives throughout the United States. These incentives are offered by the federal government, state governments, local jurisdictions, and electric utility companies in hopes of boosting the installation volume of EV chargers across the nation.

During the first half of 2022, EVs accounted for 6.7% of new passenger vehicle sales per Electrek. While this may not sound like a lot, it is the swelling of a large tidal wave. The share of EVs is expected to grow tremendously as many automakers have committed to billions of dollars of investments in EV technology and production over the next several years. As a result, EV charging infrastructure is being deployed in record numbers to keep pace.

In fact, in 2011 there were only 2,100 charging station locations throughout the United States. At the end of 2021, there were over 50,000 locations per Alternative Fuel Data Center. That being said, hundreds of thousands more EV charging stations will need to be installed in order to facilitate tens of millions of EVs coming soon to roads everywhere.

U.S. Public and Private Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
Source: Alternative Fuels Data Center
YearEVSE PortsStation Locations

To aid in the rollout of all of this infrastructure, funding is made available to commercial EV charging station projects. This funding is critical to the deployment of EV charging stations as it can cost anywhere from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars for installation per site.

In this article, we’ll break down where you can find all of these programs, what some of the typical program requirements are, and what to do once you have identified a program that fits the needs of your project.

Where to Find Funding for Commercial EV Charging Projects?

Federal EV Charging Incentives

For the federal government, the commercial EV charging incentives come in two varieties: tax credits and rebates.

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit

In 2005, the federal government created the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure tax credit, which includes the installation of EV charging infrastructure per WattLogic. While it was set to expire at the end of 2021, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)of 2022 renewed it for ten years.

In addition, some of the funding amounts and project requirements have changed. Most notably, the tax credit per commercial EV charger increased from $30,000 to $100,000. This is a significant improvement as Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $350,000 each.

National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program rebates are distributed through the states. The NEVI program was created through the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs (IIJA) Act of 2021, and has an allocation of $5 billion for a national EV charging network. As estimated by Cleantechnica, this could result in around 1,900 highway and rural stations, 100,000 urban stations, and 215,000 DCFC stations for workplaces, apartments, and airports. Note that funding for Level 2 charging stations is also available from IIJA, but in different programs than NEVI.

The NEVI program alone is going to be an incredible step forward to improving EV infrastructure across the nation. Each state has published its own plan on how they will implement the funds. Applications are expected to open early next year.

State EV Charging Incentives

State funded EV charging projects have the largest number of programs. With 50 states, some of which have multiple programs through different agencies and departments, there are simply too many to list in this article. However, below are a few of the larger, or notable, programs:

California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP)

The CALeVIP program, funded by the California Energy Commission and implemented by the Center for Sustainable Energy, provides funding for Level 2 and DCFC projects that meet certain criteria. Total funding has eclipsed $200 million over just a few years. To date, CALeVIP has funded over 2,800 ports with another 13,100 in the works.

Previously, the program created several geographic project areas and awarded projects based on a first-come, first-served basis until funds were exhausted. The program has since been reworked into two major subprojects with the first being a holistic approach to DCFC throughout the entire state. This subproject, known as the Golden State Priority Project, aims to improve upon the previous program by funding “shovel ready” DCFC projects. The second subproject, known as Communities in Charge, will be released later next year. This subproject will focus on Level 2 chargers at sites like multi-family residences or workplaces.

Charge Ahead Colorado

The Charge Ahead Colorado program began in 2013 and has since funded over 2,000 EV charging stations across the state. The program is a joint effort of the Colorado Energy Office and the Regional Air Quality Council.

The program provides rebates to all sorts of EV charging projects including multi-family, workplace, and public. Rebates range from $6,000 to $50,000 per charger.

You can read our team’s deep dive into the Charge Ahead Colorado EV charging rebate in this blog post.

BESTFIT Grant by California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission awarded EVmatch, an EV charging network provider, the BESTFIT Grant to install 120 public EV chargers at multi-family locations in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties at no cost to the site host. The grant covers all costs with the project including permitting, installation, and even five years of operation.

Interested site hosts can request an application here to be contacted by EVmatch to confirm eligibility.

Local Jurisdiction EV Charging Incentives

Funding from local jurisdictions may take a little more searching to find, however, they can provide EV charging incentives in addition to any federal, state, or utility programs. See below for an example of one program:

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program by San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District (SLOAPCD)

The Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Program by SLOAPCD provides funding for eligible commercial EV charging projects throughout the region. Awarded projects may receive funding from 50% to 100% of eligible costs. Currently, the program has over $600,000 in funding available, which is a considerable amount given the size of the jurisdiction. Funding is available at a first-come, first-served basis.

Electric Utility Company EV Charging Incentives

Lastly, many electric utility companies offer EV charging incentives to their commercial customers. In short, the more charging stations and EVs, the more electricity they can sell. It’s a win-win relationship. Like the state programs, there are dozens of incentives available. See the below list for a few examples:

What Are Typical EV Charging Incentive Program Requirements?

Many of the aforementioned programs have a handful of qualification requirements. These hoops can sometimes be a challenge, however, they can be managed with some upfront planning. Below is a list of some common eligibility requirements.

  • Networking service (e.g. EVmatch)
  • Public availability
  • Prevailing wage
  • Minimum number of chargers
  • Competitive bidding
  • EnergyStar equipment
  • OCPP certified equipment
  • Standard plugs (e.g. CCS or J1772)
  • ADA compliance
  • Shovel ready (e.g. permit issued, utility approval, and contractor selected at time of application)

Note that these are a few examples and the exact requirements depend on each individual program. It is advised to check with the program staff prior to submitting an application. Technical assistance is usually provided with each of these programs so staff is ready and willing to assist applicants as needed.

What Next?

If you have a location that could benefit from the installation of EV charging stations, and have identified an incentive program, then reach out to us at EVmatch and we can help you bring your EV charging project to life! As an EV charging networking provider, we work with our installation partners to transform your multi-family or commercial EV charging project from concept to operation. Get started today before the opportunity to take advantage of these EV charging incentives has passed!

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