The DOE reports that the number of EVs on America’s roads has more than quadrupled in three years, and the Biden administration has a goal of building a national network of 500,000 public EV charging ports by 2030 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
In support of this goal, over $46 million will help fund 30 projects that enhance EV charging reliability and workforce development. The projects, which are in 16 states and Washington, D.C. are expected to boost EV charging performance while enhancing resiliency and reliability, support equitable access to clean transportation solutions, and grow the clean energy workforce.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is focused on ensuring that America wins the EV race, capturing good-paying jobs and the benefits of a clean energy manufacturing economy,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These funds are part of that mission, helping to grow our new automotive economy with EVs and EV chargers that are made in America by American workers.”
Electrifying America’s transportation sector is essential to mitigating greenhouse gas pollution and addressing climate change, and the transition will improve health outcomes, reduce fuel and maintenance costs, and strengthen our national energy security.
The funding will be executed by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation is making targeted investments in the following area:
- EV charging resiliency: As transportation electrification accelerates, communities and energy systems must ensure resilient EV charging infrastructure for all users.
- Community-driven models and workforce development: Installing EV chargers in or near underserved communities—and creating novel business models that prioritize energy justice—will provide equitable access to clean transportation options for all Americans.
- EV charging performance and reliability: Increasing commercial capacity for testing and certification of high-power EV chargers and validating real-world performance and reliability will enable a high-quality, safe, and reliable charging experience for all EV drivers.
The projects support clean transit and school bus deployment, enhance charger resiliency to hurricanes and wildfires, and accelerate workforce development pre-apprenticeship programs. The funding is made available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to accelerate the electrification of the nation’s transportation sector and spur private sector investments in clean transportation. Several projects will make use of complementary funding from other federal programs.
Key to boosting clean transportation is the build of of American battery manufacturing. To this end, the DOE announced $131 million for projects to advance research and development (R&D) in EV batteries and charging systems. It also funds a consortium to address critical priorities for the next phase of widescale EV commercialization.
The advanced battery consortium will engage key stakeholders, including universities, national laboratories and manufacturers that supply critical materials and components to the battery industry.
“The investments announced today will supercharge the development of a convenient and reliable EV network, and expand the domestic battery supply chain—securing our nation’s energy independence and spurring economic opportunity,” said U.S. deputy secretary of energy David M. Turk.
DOE announced 27 projects to receive $71 million to develop innovative and equitable clean mobility options, alleviating supply chain concerns for EV batteries, and increasing the drive range. The selected projects aim to:
- Lower the cost of EV batteries using inexpensive, abundant materials by developing long life-cycle, high-energy density lithium sulfur batteries;
- Improve the efficiency and convenience of public transportation by developing and demonstrating system-level approaches to equitable mobility access;
- Advance on-board EV charging systems through the research and demonstration of innovative EV charging systems, including bi-directional charging;
- Increase EV drive range by developing sustainable lightweight materials, including door panels and EV battery enclosures.
The United States Advanced Battery Consortium LLC, based in Southfield, Michigan, will receive $60 million for pre-competitive, vehicle-related advanced battery R&D that addresses critical priorities for the next phase of widescale EV commercialization. The consortium will focus on R&D for EV batteries with enhanced performance; EV batteries using earth-abundant and domestically available battery materials; light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle batteries; and more cost-efficient battery recycling processes. Click here to learn more about the selected projects.
Modernizing the grid
According to the DOE, the electric power distribution system in the U.S. has over 5.5 million line-miles with over 180 million power poles, all of which are susceptible to damage by weather and its effects and account for a majority of power outages in the country. Twelve projects across 11 states will share $34 million in funding to support undergrounding electric power lines, modernize the grid and replace aging power infrastructure through development of cost-effective, high-speed and safe undergrounding technologies.
The selected projects also support the nation’s goal of 100% clean electrical grid by 2035. They are expected to lower costs, reduce inefficiencies, mitigate disruptions from extreme weather events, and accelerate the adoption of renewable clean energy resources.
The projects to receive this funding, managed by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), include small and large businesses, national labs, and universities. More information and complete project descriptions for the teams announced today can be found on the ARPA-E website.
Energy conservation in federal facilities
The first step toward a clean energy future is to make existing facilities as energy efficient as possible. As the federal government is nation’s largest consumer of energy, according to Energy Secretary Granholm, the DOE announced $104 million for energy conservation and clean energy projects at 31 federal facilities.
The Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) program, which was established in 1992, will receive three disbursements from the historic $250 million in funding for the program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The projects announced for funding today align with President Biden’s December 2021 Executive Order that calls for a 65% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from Federal operations by 2030, 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035, and a net-zero building portfolio by 2045. AFFECT helps agencies cut energy consumption, and saves taxpayers money through building electrification, geothermal heat pumps, on-site solar generation, and battery energy storage, among other initiatives.
“President Biden has charged the Federal Government to lead by example by transforming its footprint of over 300,000 buildings to be more energy efficient and climate resilient, which means cleaner air across the country,” said Brenda Mallory, chair of White House council on environmental quality, Brenda Mallory.
Projects were selected for facilities of the Social Security Administration; the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, the Interior; Transportation, and Veterans Affairs; the U.S. General Services Administration; and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The 31 selected projects are expected to double the amount of new carbon-free electricity capacity at federal facilities over the amount brought online in 2022, resulting in 27 MW of additional clean-energy capacity. The projects will also leverage more than $361 million in private investment.
View the full list of the projects here.
In the first year of operation, the projects are expected to:
- Save more than $29 million in energy and water costs;
- Remove the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the air as taking 23,042 gasoline-powered vehicles off the roads; and
- Reduce energy usage by the equivalent of 29,662 homes’ annual electricity use.
AFFECT Phase 2
Applications for the second round of AFFECT funding will be accepted starting this month. Click here to subscribe to latest Federal Energy Management Program news to receive AFFECT news, feedback opportunities, and best practices for submitting Phase 2 applications.
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