Technology/Services

Group Calls Out Florida for Stagnant EV Charging Funds Rollout

State has $198 million it has failed to begin offering businesses for electric vehicle charging station expenses
EV Florida NEVI program
Photograph: Shutterstock

Florida has yet to take initiative on its electric vehicle (EV) charging station grants from the National Electric Vehicle Instructure (NEVI) program. In 2021, Florida was awarded a total of $198 million to be dispersed over the next five years to businesses that want to offer EV charging stations.

The NEVI Program authorized the federal government to distribute $5 billion to states to provide grant funding for businesses, such as convenience stores and other retailers. It is designed to spark investment in EV charging infrastructure by offsetting the startup costs for buying and installing high-speed EV chargers at strategic locations along each state’s major highways.

“Florida has the second-most EVs of any state in the country, and EV charging is a growing and vibrant business opportunity,” said Jay Smith, executive director at Charge Ahead Partnership, a coalition of businesses working to expand the nation’s EV charging network through free-market competition and private investment.

“Allowing businesses to access the NEVI funds will spark additional private investment in EV charging, and we hope state officials take the key step to allowing participation by issuing an application,” he said.

Most funds deployed by other states have gone to private enterprises, allowing small businesses and national chains to add EV charging to the services they provide to customers.

As of May 23, the United States has more than 183,000 publicly available charging ports from the NEVI program, according to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation.

 

EV chart

A total of 36 states have released at least their first round of solicitations. Of these states, 23 have issued conditional awards or put agreements in place for more than 550 charging station locations that will each have at least four fast charging ports. Five states—Maine, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio and Kentucky—have released their second round of conditional awards.

Some of the states that have begun rolling out EV chargers at convenience-store chains (many inCSP’s Top 202 ranking by size) with NEVI funds include:

  • Wisconsin: Kwik Trip, bp, CITGO, Exxon, Holiday Inn Express, Shell, Road Ranger, Edgerton Truck Stop, Pine Cone Travel Plaza, KornerStores Inc. and Express Mart
  • Ohio: Shell, Pilot Co., Casey’s, Shell, Turkey Hill Mini Market
  • Pennsylvania: Sheetz, Wawa, Love’s, Pilot Co., TravelCenters of America, Mirabito
  • Colorado: Love’s
  • Utah: Maverik, Pilot Flying J
  • Kansas: Flying J, Love’s, Casey’s
  • Kentucky: Circle K
  • Georgia: Shell

Florida is one of 15 states that has still not issued an application for EV charging providers hoping to receive a grant. The federal government has approved Florida’s plan and now the state is responsible for getting the grants into the hands of EV charging operators, according to the Charge Ahead Partnership.

“Florida has countless businesses that would love to use NEVI funds to help build out the state’s EV charging infrastructure, the same way that businesses in other states are,” said Smith. “It’s unfortunate that the state has still not issued an application for funds, while states like Ohio are opening NEVI-funded chargers.”

The sluggish deployment of NEVI in Florida slows the growth of the EV charging private marketplace and increases the need for captive utility ratepayers to fund power company-owned charging networks, as has been widely practiced in Florida, the Charge Ahead Partnership said in a declaration to the state.

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