Progress Toward EV Readiness
To prepare for the growing number of plug-in electric vehicles on the road, State and local leaders can advance their communities’ EV readiness by developing EV-related infrastructure, policies, and services. While the path to installing and operating EV charging infrastructure (also known as electric vehicle supply equipment, or EVSE) varies across States and utilities, to date, several organizations and initiatives have made strides in advancing EV readiness in rural communities across the United States.
State and Regional Progress
For example, States like Colorado and Florida have released EV deployment and infrastructure plans. Other organizations have developed related tools and guidance, like the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) compilation of readiness planning resources for communities.
States are also collaborating to improve regional EV readiness, as seen in the revised 2019 Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) West memorandum of understanding. More recently, in 2021, the Western Governors' Association released its Special Report of the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative to improve the planning and implementation of EV infrastructure projects in Western States.
Still, as concluded in the 2021 National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) Electric Vehicle Charging Needs Assessment for the intermountain west region, further EV readiness in rural communities requires ongoing coordination among local governments, transportation planning agencies, electric service providers, and other stakeholders. For instance, State and local governments may need to work together to further develop the rural EV workforce for EV maintenance and charging installation.
Funding and innovative financing opportunities for EV-related initiatives also continue to develop. Many States and utilities offer funding and financial incentives for EV infrastructure, showing a continued commitment to EV readiness.
Increasing Federal Support
There is also growing support at the Federal level: the White House formally affirmed its support in April 2021 for accelerated deployment of EVs and charging stations, and the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law contains significant new Federal funding for EV charging stations.
Specific funding and financing opportunities from several U.S. government agencies are discussed in EV Infrastructure Funding and Financing for Rural Areas.