W.Va. Electric Vehicle Charging Station Plan Revealed

Last Thursday, the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) submitted its preliminary report plan of proposed locations of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the federal government.

All 50 states will work under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Funding and Deployment Plan. West Virginia will receive $47.5 million over five years to complete two phases of charging station construction and help create related businesses and jobs.

Phase 1 establishes federally required charging stations on what are known as Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) across the country. These include West Virginia Interstates 64, 77, 79, 70, 68, and 81. The plan is to build electric vehicle charging stations every 50 miles along the AFCs. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2023 and be completed in two years. The first phase is designed to help electric vehicle owners with interstate and regional travel.

As of June 2022, West Virginia had 14 stations and 28 individual EV ports accessible to the public; these numbers exclude Tesla EV ports as the Tesla Network is currently only available to Tesla owners. Overall, the average number of EV ports per station in the state is two. The minimum number of ports required by the NEVI program per station along the AFCs is four.

To meet NEVI’s station spacing requirements, stations must have at least four 150 KW chargers. Additionally, stations must be within one mile of an electric AFC and stations must not be more than 50 miles apart. Based on these requirements, it is estimated that West Virginia will need at least 12 NEVI-compliant stations.

West Virginia Phase 2 comes after NEVI Phase 1 requirements are met. Phase 2 will focus on community charging and expanding local access to electric vehicle charging. Throughout the five-year program, disadvantaged communities and rural areas of the state will be prioritized for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The Justice40 The initiative was created to provide 40% of the overall benefits of federal climate and clean energy investments, including sustainable transportation, to underprivileged communities. Justice40 has a myriad of programs that support this initiative, one of which is the NEVI program. In line with NEVI and Justice40 guidelines priorities, the plan prioritizes charging infrastructure that serves low-income and disadvantaged communities.

WVDOT said it would commit at least 40% of NEVI program investments to disadvantaged communities. Education is a key part of rolling out electric vehicles, and state transportation leaders say West Virginia’s plan ensures fair and community-based decision-making processes to ensure chargers are installed to meet community needs. that have always been underfunded and underinvested.

Part of West Virginia’s NEVI program will focus on jobs, skills training, as well as business development investments to develop and train local workers in the construction and maintenance of electric vehicle supply equipment. (EVSE).

In 2020, West Virginia ranked 44th out of 50 states for electric vehicle sales. In 2020, sales of electric vehicles, including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), accounted for less than 1% of all car sales in the state.

For stations funded under Phase 1, typical standards will be:

• Maximum power from 150 to 350 kW

• Access to 480 volt three-phase power (typically 1000 amps, 660 kva)

• Site must include a minimum of four 150kw DCFC ports with combination charging system ports (three general purpose parking stalls and one parking stall with ADA compliant access)

Additional standards for all stations will include:

• 45 minute charging time limit

• Inactivity fee once charging is complete/time limit is exceeded

• Security lighting, restrooms, ADA accessibility

• Standard terminals and charger protection

• Open to the public and accessible 24/7 at charging stations and amenities

• Plug to Charge preferred (payment is made per vehicle upon connection), but phone/app/card payments will also be required

• Adequate signage to charging stations

• Spaces marked EV only

• Signs recommending to charge at 80%

• Supplier shall make usage data by location available to WVDOT as required

• Signage directing users to charging points from AFCs

• Real-time data sharing including location, charger status and charges available online.

For stations funded under Phase 2, typical standards will be:

• J1772 connector (industry standard)

• Maximum power from 6.6 kW to 19.2 kW for level II chargers

• Maximum power from 50 kW to 350 kW for level III chargers

• Same requirements for number of chargers, signage, markings, payment options and data sharing as Phase 1

WVDOT says it will focus on meeting NEVI program requirements and request exceptions where deviations are necessary to meet unique site, geographic, cost or other technical conditions.

The program’s goal is to expand access to electric vehicle charging by: • Accelerating equitable adoption of EVs, including for those who cannot reliably charge at home.

• Reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions and help the United States reach net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

• Position American industries to lead global transportation electrification efforts and help create union jobs that support the family and cannot be outsourced.

Additionally, the West Virginia Legislature passed Bill 4797 in June 2022. It directs the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) to create the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Development Plan for the state . The plan states:

“…must take a holistic approach, considering the future charging infrastructure needs of school systems, public transportation, counties and municipalities, and other public and private users.”

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