Federal Officials Approve Wisconsin EV Infrastructure Plan

Federal officials have approved Wisconsin’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure plan, which outlines how the state will spend millions in federal funds. The Federal Highway Administration notified the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) on September 14 that the state’s plan was approved. At the time, Wisconsin and 33 other states had their plans approved. WisDOT submitted its final draft plan to the federal Joint Office of Energy and Transportation on July 29.

Over the five-year life of the federal EV infrastructure program, WisDOT anticipates receiving nearly $79 million, including $11.64 million in 2022. The department’s plan outlines how it will use the money to develop EV charging infrastructure along key transportation corridors across the state. WisDOT’s EV infrastructure webpage is available here.

Consistent with federal guidelines, Wisconsin’s goals are:

  • 100% of Wisconsin Interstate Highways and other state-designated “alternative fuel corridors” (AFCs) to be fully built out to the National EV Infrastructure (NEVI) Program standard. According to federal guidance, each state’s AFCs should have an EV charging station available at least every 50 miles, less than one mile off an exit or interchange.
  • 85% of Wisconsin State Highway System to be within 25 miles of a NEVI-compliant charging station.
  • Long-term, to build out a statewide NEVI-compliant network with an emphasis on geographic equity.

Stations built with NEVI funds must offer at least 4 CCS-standard charging ports, each able to charge 150kW continuously and simultaneously. In other words, each station must support 600 kW total charging capacity with so-called “level 3” direct current fast chargers (DCFC). Federal guidance does not allow NEVI funds to pay for proprietary technology, such as the Tesla Supercharger.

Wisconsin’s plan envisions competitive grants and contract development for NEVI funds, including requiring ongoing maintenance and operation of funded stations. Wisconsin’s plan would not site EV charging stations on WisDOT property but does contemplate allowing public-private partnerships to site stations on both privately and publicly owned property.

The Wisconsin State Journal published a story on the approval of WisDOT’s plan, while Wisconsin Public Radio recently covered supply chain issues affecting EV sales and infrastructure development in the state.