Overview of Electric Mobility Federal Funding and Financing Programs
Federal funding for electric mobility infrastructure can be drawn from several sources, including discretionary and formula grant programs, loan financing programs, and tax incentives. The table below provides an overview of these funding types.
|Discretionary Grant Funding Programs
For discretionary grant programs, an agency solicits applications and competitively selects projects based on eligibility, evaluation criteria, and departmental or program priorities. Most programs described in this toolkit are discretionary grant programs.
|Formula Grant Funding Programs
Formula grant programs apportion funding based on formulas in statute. The recipients of these funds can be States, federally recognized Tribal recipients, cities and counties, or transit agencies. Recipients are responsible for determining how the funds are used according to program guidelines. Entities that do not receive formula funding directly (e.g., nonprofits or transportation providers) may be eligible to receive funding from agencies that initially receive the formula grants.
|Loan Financing Programs
|Credit assistance programs leverage Federal funds to accelerate project delivery when direct funding programs are not readily available or applicable. Public credit assistance programs may also attract private and other non-Federal co-investment for projects. This can take the form of secured (direct) loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit.
|Tax Incentives (e.g., credits, exemptions, deductions)
|The U.S. tax code contains potential funding sources for individuals, non-governmental organizations, and private organizations in the form of tax incentives. Specifically, exemptions, exclusions, and deductions all reduce an entity’s taxable income, while credits, preferential tax rates, and deferrals decrease tax liability or even generate cash payments from the government to the taxpayer. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is responsible for administering these policies.
Three agencies administer most Federal funding programs applicable to EV infrastructure: the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Other agencies provide or oversee some potential funding sources. The following sections provide a description of each relevant agency and how its mission relates to electric mobility infrastructure.
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
USDOT programs focus on a wide range of EV activities and support infrastructure development, energy efficiency, and equity. USDOT has 11 operating administrations and bureaus, and many of these have programs related to EV activities.
The Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) provides policy development, oversight, and coordination for the overall planning and direction of USDOT. OST administers some discretionary grant programs.
The Build America Bureau, within OST, provides credit assistance and loans to States, municipalities, and other project sponsors. The Bureau operates multiple funding programs. It also helps borrowers leverage available USDOT credit and funding programs, explore innovative project delivery approaches like public-private partnerships (P3s), and navigate project development processes like permitting.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversees the safety of civil aviation and operates a network of airport towers, air route traffic control centers, and flight service stations. FAA’s relevant grant programs fund zero-emission land vehicles and charging infrastructure for use at airports.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)provides stewardship over the construction, maintenance and preservation of the Nation's highways, bridges and tunnels. FHWA also conducts research and provides technical assistance to State and local agencies to improve safety, mobility, and to encourage innovation. Its electric vehicle funding programs focus on reducing emissions from road vehicles and increasing access to EV infrastructure. FHWA is also responsible for administering formula and discretionary grant programs for EV charging infrastructure established under the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to include the NEVI Formula Program and the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program. FHWA can also provide project-specific financing techniques and tools through its Center for Innovative Finance Support.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) helps improve public transportation systems for communities nationwide. FTA’s funding programs are largely focused on providing capital and operating assistance to transit systems. Electrifying transit fleets and related infrastructure are eligible expenses for many FTA programs; the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allows eligibility for electric vehicle charging infrastructure as part of a joint development project, subject to certain conditions.
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) supports the waterborne transportation system and the Nation’s maritime infrastructure. MARAD’s relevant grant program funds low-emission land vehicles and charging infrastructure for use at marine ports.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
DOE offers a wide range of programs focused on advancing clean energy technologies, decarbonizing the economy, and making energy more affordable, secure, and resilient. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) administers most of the DOE programs identified in this toolkit. VTO, which is within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), supports the research, development, and deployment of efficient and sustainable transportation technologies, including EVs and related infrastructure. DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP) and DOE’s Loan Programs Office also administer programs relevant to EV infrastructure.
Joint Office of Energy and Transportation
Created under the BIL, the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office) facilitates collaboration between USDOT and DOE. The Joint Office focuses on supporting the planning and deployment of electric vehicle technologies, such as charging stations, electric school bus fleets, and zero-emission transit. The Joint Office also provides guidance and technical support to potential applicants for BIL-related funding programs. For example, in 2022, the Joint Office assisted States in developing and submitting their plans to FHWA for the use of NEVI Formula Program funds to build out DCFC on designated alternative fuel corridors. The Joint Office will also support applicants pursuing BIL discretionary funds for community charging projects, provide technical assistance to school districts to plan for and deploy clean school buses, and offer technical assistance to transit agencies applying for and/or receiving FTA funding for transit bus electrification projects.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The mission of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment. Programs relevant to EV infrastructure primarily focus on reducing the emissions impacts of the transportation sector. EPA, through its ENERGY STAR Program, develops energy efficiency specifications for Level 1, 2, and DCFC charging equipment and forms partnerships with electric utilities and States to facilitate purchasing of ENERGY STAR certified chargers.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides housing and community development assistance and works to ensure fair and equal access to housing for all. HUD supports renters and homeowners through numerous funding and financing programs and technical resources. EV charging infrastructure is an eligible expense under several HUD grant programs. Potential applicants should confirm eligibility with the designated program office and agency contact. In addition, some HUD programs incentivize the adoption of energy efficiency and other sustainability measures, which may include EV charger installation. For example, multifamily property owners who receive Federal Housing Administration-insured financing may qualify for reduced mortgage insurance premiums upon achieving green building certification, which typically offer incentive points for EV charger installation or readiness.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA provides leadership on agriculture, natural resources, and rural development, among other topics. USDA funding programs are primarily aimed at helping rural and agricultural communities bolster their economies and realize the benefits of the shift toward electric vehicles. However, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service administers a relevant grant program supporting the development of urban agriculture.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. Relevant funding programs enable small businesses to conduct technology research related to EV infrastructure.
U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)
The mission of the DOC is to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity. All relevant DOC programs are administered by the Economic Development Agency (EDA). The EDA promotes innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success. Relevant funding and financing programs support a variety of EV activities that promote economic growth.
U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
The mission of the DOL is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. Workforce development related to EVs is an activity eligible under DOL’s relevant funding program.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is the Nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress. The IRS administers the tax incentive programs identified in this toolkit.