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RIDOT is partnering with the Office of Energy Resources (OER) and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to plan an electric vehicle (EV) charging station network financed by the federal government. As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, RIDOT plans to use $3.38 million this year to build out the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Currently, RIDOT is working to identify the ideal corridors along which the charging stations will be located. Federal guidelines mandate that the locations must be within one mile of an interstate, open to the public and must provide some benefit to underserved communities.
Once the first corridors are approved by the federal government, RIDOT will develop a deployment plan to include construction, operation, and maintenance of the stations. RIDOT is working with a consultant to develop this plan.
There are about 300 charging stations in the state fielded and operated by different public and private entities. Coordination efforts are under discussion as part of the planning process. RIDOT funded an earlier EV charging station pilot project with 12 stations in two locations off I-95.
The new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes nearly $23 million over the next five years for EV infrastructure in Rhode Island. Recognizing that easy access to fast, high-capacity charging is a significant hurdle to the public’s adoption of electric vehicles over gas-powered vehicles, this new federal funding will support the construction of charging stations along major transportation corridors.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is the recipient of these funds in Rhode Island and will work with partners to identify the best corridors along which to build out the charging station network. Funds will come to the state in tranches of $3.8 each year.
There are about 300 charging stations already in the state owned by diverse public and private entities. There are about 4,000 electric vehicles in Rhode Island. The IIJA funds will be used to not only build out main corridors, but also to help with coordinating the use of all these stations and planning for maintenance and upgrades.
Nationally the IIJA will invest $7.5 billion to install up to 500,000 EV charges across the country over five years. Guidance for this planning will com from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI).
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI) established a formula for how much money is granted to each state for EV charger infrastructure, following the same formula used to distribute funds for road and bridge improvements. Criteria taken into account for projects approved under NEVI are the distance between publicly available EV chargers (generally every 50 miles); how the EV chargers are plugged into the grid, including the use of renewable energy sources to power them; the use of public-private partnerships for publicly available charging; and making them available in rural corridors and underserved or disadvantaged communities.
Prior to receiving funding from the IIJA, RIDOT had already put in place an EV charging station pilot program in fall 2020. In conjunction with the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and National Grid, free EV charging stations were built at two Park & Ride lots located immediately off I-95. One is in central Rhode Island on Route 117 (Centerville Road) at Exit 10 in Warwick and the other is on Route 3 (Main Street) at Exit 1 in Hopkinton, close to the Connecticut border. They both will feature 240-volt Level II and direct current fast charging (DCFC) options. The Level II chargers can provide 25 miles of range per hour of charging while the DCFC chargers will provide approximately 250 miles of range in an hour of charging. Charging times can vary slightly based on vehicle model. Each Park & Ride lot can accommodate up to six cars charging on the Level II chargers and two cars using the DCFC fast chargers.
|Rhode Islands Plan for an EV Charging Infrastructure|
|Plugged In: How Americans Charge Their Electric Vehicles|
|Joint Office of Energy and Transportation|
|National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program (NEVI)|
|Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Implementation Resources|
|Session A: June 22: 10:30-11:30am|
|Session B: June 22: 1:30-2:30pm|
|Session C: June 23: 3:00-4:00pm|
|A free webinar from the Joint Office on addressing Equity and Justice40 in the NEVI plan: June 24: 2:00-3:00pm|