V. Identify Funding for Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

This section identifies funding mechanisms for light-duty vehicles, buses, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and charging infrastructure. There are increasing options for local governments to fund both electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. Financing options, incentives (like rebates and tax credits), public/private programs as well as grants and vouchers have all been used to reduce or cover upfront costs.

 

Of note, funding these projects will require coordination across a multitude of departments that have not traditionally been involved in purchasing decisions. For example, in working out the charging infrastructure: the public services department may be involved in engaging with the local utility; the public works department may help decide where to site the equipment; the finance department may handle the purchase of the units; the information technology department may handle the wifi and software.

Funding Mechanisms Matrix

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law 

In November 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) was signed codifying the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA). Consequently, the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was created to facilitate collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Joint Office will align resources and expertise across the two departments and will help with the implementation of programs that seek to deploy a network of electric vehicle chargers and zero-emission transit and school buses. Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Guidebook was released that contains information about all the programs included in the BIL-including several other electric transportation-related programs.

A. Funding for Vehicles 
Image by Robert Linder

1. Federal Funding and Financing for Vehicles 

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes billions of dollars in both formula and competitive funding available to states, cities, towns, and municipalities across dozens of new and existing programs. 

      

Tools: 

 

Resources:

 

2. State Funding For Vehicles

Several Southeast states have used Volkswagen Settlement funds to purchase electric transit and school buses. SACE tracks this data in our Report: Transportation Electrification in the Southeast. Southeast states have awarded $170 million of the $427 million allocated to them from the VW Settlement. To date, 55 percent of those awards have gone towards EVs and EV charging. 

 

Examples:

 

Resource: 

Go Deeper on VW Settlement Funding

3. Local and Utility Funding for Vehicles

Your local utility’s plan or policies may encourage and provide financial support for certain types of EVs and vehicle classes. 

 

Examples: 

  • Orlando-LYNX-OUC-Proterra: With Orlando’s assistance, LYNX applied funding from a Low or No Emission (Low-No) Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to purchase seven battery electric buses, which will be procured through Proterra Inc. Orlando Utilities Commission assisted in the procurement of charging stations and batteries to help LYNX successfully deploy the project.

  • West Palm Beach and FPL

  • Duke NC School Bus Program 

 

4. Financing for Vehicles

a. Fleet Leasing (financing): Municipalities have realized cost savings from fleet leasing. This works as a traditional lease. 

 

Example: 

  • New Port Richey, FL- fleet leasing 

 

b. Municipal Leasing (financing): Municipalities have realized savings with a municipal lease. This allows a third-party leasing company to capture federal tax credit savings and pass it along to the municipality.  

 

Example:

 

c. The Climate Mayors EV Purchasing Collaborative (incentive)The Collaborative provides a host of resources to assist cities/counties to achieve fleet electrification – including favorable prices on electric vehicles. Through manufacturer-direct contracts, the Collaborative leverages municipalities’ collective purchasing power to lower the cost of EVs and charging stations for public entities. The Collaborative also allows local governments to monetize a portion of the federal tax credit incentive for EVs, via an innovative EV-leasing option. Additionally, the Collaborative can help identify and prioritize which vehicles to transition first. 

 

Link: 

B. Funding for Charging Infrastructure
Image by John Cameron

1. Federal Incentives for Charging Infrastructure

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or the Bipartisan Bill has two specific funding priorities for charging infrastructure. 

  • The National Electric Vehicle Formula Program will fund $5 billion for new EV charging along Alternative Fuel Corridors across the country. Learn more here.  

  • The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program is a competitive program that will fund $2.5 billion in infrastructure along corridors and in communities. EV charging stations are one of the allowed projects.

 

Tool:

  • US Department of Transportation | Funding Matrix This matrix is a list of Federal programs that can fund electric vehicles and infrastructure, sorted alphabetically by agency. The matrix notes the type of EV activities that are eligible for funding under different programs, as well as the eligible entities.

 

2. State Incentives for Charging Infrastructure

Several Southeast states have used Volkswagen Settlement funds to install EV charging stations. SACE tracks this data in our Report: Transportation Electrification in the Southeast. Southeast states have awarded $170 million of the $427 million allocated to them from the VW Settlement. To date, 55 percent of those awards have gone towards EVs and EV charging. In addition to those funds, some states offer tax credits for EVSE. 

 

Examples:

 

Resource: 

3. Local Incentives for Charging Infrastructure 

Municipalities can offer a rebate for the equipment and labor costs associated with the installation of both public and private EV charging stations. Municipalities can direct residents toward grant opportunities such as the Charge Up! program, which covers up to 50% of EVSE costs. The funds come from pollution recovery fees.

 

Examples:

4. Utility Incentives for Charging Infrastructure

Utilities across the region are increasingly investing in charging infrastructure. Utility spending is tracked by SACE in our Electrification in the Southeast report. Some utilities offer rebates on the charging equipment or offer make ready credits. 

Resource: