What you need to know about Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grants: Round 2
July 3, 2024

The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) program provides competitive grants for publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling infrastructure, particularly for underserved communities. The current funding round will provide up to $1.3 billion in grants.

There are two types of CFI grants: 1) Community Charging and Fueling (Community) and 2) Alternative Fuel Corridor (Corridor). Community grants are meant to be located on public roads or other publicly accessible locations. Corridor grants must be located on or near designated alternative fuel corridors (typically a highway that is important for transit of goods and services).  

The current round of funding is open through August 28, 2024

1. You can resubmit a previous CFI application just by sending an email

The Department of Transportation announced with their FY2024-25 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that they would be providing additional awards to some previous applicants who were rated by the technical review team as either “Highly Recommended,” or “Recommended,” but were unsuccessful. These awards will be made using the submission criteria for FY22-23. To be considered for re-submission, applicants must send an email indicating that they would like their application to be considered again to [email protected] by July 1, 2024.

Applicants who are re-submitting do not need to revise their application; in fact, DOT won’t accept revisions for re-submissions. If awarded for a FY22-23 submission, recipients can update their project with reasonable changes to their original application, such as budget updates or scheduling updates. Applicants can also maximize their changes by opting to submit a revised application for a previously submitted project to be considered for round 2 funds, but will need to respond to the selection criteria included in the round 2 NOFO.

2. DOT will now consider project readiness in its review

DOT added language to the Selection Criteria section for both Community and Corridor grants that they will be considering whether the project is “reasonably expected to begin in a timely manner, obligate awards before the deadline, and how quickly they are planned to be completed and made available for use by the traveling public.”

3. CFI Round 2 puts a strong emphasis on serving disadvantaged communities

The previous CFI NOFO incorporated some mentions of environmental justice, but the new NOFO provides additional specificity that this means serving Justice40 communities (the shortened name for the federal government goal of ensuring 40 percent of the benefits of climate and infrastructure investments flow to disadvantaged communities). 

In the Round 2 NOFO, applicants for both Community and Corridor grants must demonstrate that the benefits of their project will flow to Justice40 communities. To be rated as highly qualified for the “Equity, Community Engagement, and Justice40” selection criteria, applicants must provide an equity analysis of the project’s impacts and demonstrate the benefits to disadvantaged communities using the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool

4. Round 2 has new focus areas for both Community and Corridor Grants

For both types of CFI grants, DOT is encouraging applicants to use CFI grants for slower charging systems that reduce the demand for electricity as compared to fast charging stations. For Community Grants, DOT added a focus area for “neighborhood and multi-family charging” and “multi-purpose workplace and destination charging”. These focus areas are meant to encourage applicants to provide access to charging where people live, work, and spend their leisure time. Since these are places where people tend to stay longer at a charging station, slower charging systems are appropriate.

Similarly, “long dwell time locations” were added as a focus area for Corridor Grants to help reduce the electricity demand while still offering a convenient place to charge. Small downtowns, hotels and motels, park and ride facilities, parks, and campgrounds were given as examples of locations that would meet these criteria.

5. The CFI Round 2 NOFO also covers the competitive grant set-aside of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program

Previously, NEVI competitive set aside funds were a separate application, even though the project requirements were very similar to CFI, as the NEVI program provides grants via formula for EV charging stations and certain related activities. Ten percent of NEVI is set-aside for competitive grants for states and localities that need additional support in order to deploy EV charging stations. This 10 percent set-aside was included in the CFI Round 2 NOFO in order to eliminate the need for state and local governments to submit two separate applications to increase their chances of success. The NEVI ten percent funds will have the same selection criteria as the other CFI grants and can fund either Community or Corridor grants, but they can only be given to state and local governments. The Department of Transportation combined the funding announcements so that state and local governments wouldn’t have to submit multiple applications for the same or similar projects.

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