Feds open up $100 million funding for EV charger reliability grants

An electrify America charger with a white toyota ev behind it
Enlarge / Electrify America promised a lot when it first arrived, but now it mostly promises frustration and broken hardware.

Jonathan Gitlin

On Wednesday the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation announced it is accepting applications for grants to improve electric vehicle charger reliability. The Joint Office has $100 million to spend in this area to fund grants to repair or replace malfunctioning or broken EV chargers. The money was set aside as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, which allocated $5 billion for a national network of EV chargers by 2027.

“We know that people expect public EV chargers to work the first time, every time,” said Joint Office of Energy and Transportation Executive Director Gabe Klein. That’s why we have a multi-pronged approach to create a seamless charging experience by building a capable workforce, tracking reliability metrics, and convening industry to ensure they can meet the performance standards for federally funded chargers set earlier this year.

“This funding to repair and replace non-operational chargers combined with the efforts of the ChargeX Consortium should increase reliability significantly over the next two years,” said Klein.

Outside of the closed Tesla Supercharger ecosystem, there’s growing dissatisfaction with the state of public EV chargers, which appears to be deteriorating year on year as charging networks focus on deploying new chargers, not maintaining the ones already in service.

The funding opportunity was only published today and is open for applications until November, so we’re unlikely to have any news about how the funds impact charger reliability until next year.

Meanwhile, some of the early NEVI funds for EV charger deployment (as opposed to these grants for reliability) have been awarded. Trillium Energy Solutions, the tech arm of Love’s Travel Stops, has been awarded $4.8 million to build out high-speed EV chargers along highways at four existing locations in Pennsylvania and another four in Colorado.

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