Car charging at electric car charging station.
The IIJA funds will add to efforts to complete a 6,600-mile statewide charging network and deploy 1.2 million chargers by 2030

By Ramona du Houx

November 2, 2022

California has the green light to start using federal infrastructure funding to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the state’s interstates and highways following the recent federal approval of a joint plan by Caltrans and California Energy Commission.

“Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s approval of California’s NEVI plan, we can start putting historic levels of federal infrastructure funding to work to close gaps in our state highway system’s evolving EV charging network and improve availability and reliability for low-income and rural residents. Coupled with unprecedented levels of state investments in zero-emission vehicles, this funding will help supercharge California’s nation-leading efforts to drastically cut climate-changing pollution from the transportation sector,” said Toks Omishakin, California Transportation Secretary.

The US Joint Office of Energy and Transportation’s signoff on the California Deployment Plan for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program (earlier post) makes an initial $56 million in funding available to install charging stations throughout the state.

EV Car or Electric vehicle at charging station

Funded by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA), California expects to receive a total of $384 million for the program over the next five years. The federal funding will build on California’s $10-billion, multiyear investment to accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles by improving affordability and expanding charging infrastructure.

The IIJA funds will add to efforts to complete a 6,600-mile statewide charging network and deploy 1.2 million chargers by 2030 to meet the anticipated charging needs of the state’s EV fleet.

“With this unprecedented federal investment, California can advance our vision of a unified network of charging stations along the state’s busiest corridors. This new network will increase charging access, particularly in the rural areas of our state, and help EV drivers charge up on long trips,” said Patty Monahan, California Energy Commission Commissioner.

The state’s NEVI plan focuses on construction of fast-charging stations near interstates, US routes and state routes throughout California. These charging stations will increase the availability of charging options, improve the reliability of the charging network and remove barriers to accessing EVs. NEVI funding will also support upgrades to existing infrastructure, charging stations’ operation and maintenance costs, community and stakeholder engagement, workforce development, and related mapping and signage.

California surpassed one million zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) sold in 2021 and leads the country in all ZEV market metrics including the highest level of public funding, the largest EV market share percentage, and the most extensive public charging infrastructure.