2022 Rural Electric Vehicle Charging

The California Energy Commission (CEC) through the Clean Transportation Program (CTP) has announced the availability of up to $4.8 million in grant funds through the Rural Electric Vehicle (REV) Charging solicitation. Applications are due March 11, 2022 at 11:59pm.

What are the purpose of this solicitation? The purpose of this solicitation is to: Demonstrate replicable and scalable business and technology models that can deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to serve rural EV drivers; Support travel by rural EV drivers, especially those from low-income or disadvantaged communities; Provide EV charging access in rural areas that are not served or inadequately served by charging stations; Provide support and maintenance services to ensure reliable and readily accessible chargers; Engage local rural communities and businesses to increase charger awareness and promote EV adoption.
Who is eligible to apply for this program? This solicitation is open to all public and private entities. Project teams may include, but are not limited to:
  • Community-based organizations (defined for this solicitation as an organization that (a) is place-based, with an explicit geographic focus area that includes the proposed project area(s), (b) has staff members, volunteers, or Board members that reside in the community where the project is located or intended to serve, (c) has a demonstrated track record of at least one year providing services in the proposed project area)
  • California Native American Tribes and California Tribal Organizations
  • Transportation planning agencies including rural county transportation commissions and regional transportation planning agencies
  • Cities and counties
  • Utilities
  • Non-profit organizations (for example public schools, public charities, volunteer organizations, workforce development entities, places of worship, and some governmental agencies)
  • Public housing agencies
  • Environmental or environmental justice organizations
  • Businesses
What are the project requirements?
  1. Projects must include deployment and installation of chargers. Eligible projects will provide EV charging infrastructure to support travel by rural drivers. Eligible projects may include engagement and outreach activities to increase infrastructure awareness and promote EV adoption. Examples of project types that may qualify for this grant funding include, but are not limited to, any combination of the following:
    • Widespread Strategic Deployment Models – Examples include small-scale charging infrastructure installations and mobile charging alternatives spread widely throughout rural regions to fill major gaps in the charging network. Deployment should support rural residents and their daily travel and make charging convenient for visitors contributing to the economic development of rural communities.
    • Fast Charging Corridors – Direct Current (DC) fast charging along critical rural travel corridors to enable long-distance EV trips and enhance range confidence.
    • Charging in Rural Community Centers – Charging at population centers. Proposed project locations for chargers within communities should demonstrate the ability to attract many rural drivers and identify on-site or nearby amenities. Locations may include, but are not limited to, town centers, shopping centers, grocery stores, and recreation centers.
    • Low-power On-Site Charging – Level 1 and Level 2 charging at locations where drivers commonly park for several hours, including, but not limited to hotels and lodges, local shops, healthcare facilities, schools, libraries, parks, transit hubs, park and rides, and places of worship.
    • Streetlight or Utility Pole Charging – Charging that leverages existing lighting, electrical, or communications infrastructure fixtures to minimize ground excavation and electrical grid upgrades.
    • Mobile Chargers – Self-contained portable charging units that can be moved to the EV.
    • Renewable Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) and Energy Storage Systems –Renewable DERs or energy storage systems can provide power at charging stations independent of the electric power grid.
  2. All project locations must be within California and in areas that will support rural EV drivers. Ineligible counties are those with charger densities (public Level 2 and DCFC combined) of higher than 0.3 per square mile. Ineligible cities are those with populations of greater than 50,000.
  3. Disadvantaged and Low-Income Communities – A minimum of 50 percent of total project costs must be applied in disadvantaged or low-income communities. Disadvantaged communities are census tracts that score within the top 25th percentile of California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) CalEnviroScreen 4.0 scores.
  4. Charging Station Accessibility and Safety – Charging stations shall be publicly accessible and accommodate safety requirements of EV drivers. The following requirements apply:
    • Chargers must be available and accessible at least 18 hours per day.
    • Charging locations and parking areas must be well-lit. The charger user must be able to easily read any instructions on the charger and the area around the vehicle must have adequate lighting to allow the driver to safely walk from the charger to the charging port on the vehicle.
    • Signage as required by any applicable laws, ordinances, regulations, and standards.
  5. Charging Equipment – The following requirements apply to charging equipment in the proposed project:
    • All public chargers must meet applicable requirements, including those of Senate Bill 454 (Corbett, Chapter 418, Statutes of 2013), the California Air Resources Board Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Standards, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Measurement Standards.
    • All public DC fast chargers must be networked, and must include the following three abilities: 1) Have network connectivity with one of the following: A) IEEE 802.11n for high-bandwidth wireless networking, or B) IEEE 802.3 for Ethernet for local- or wide-area network applications; 2) Be able to receive remote software updates, real-time protocol translation, encryption, and decryption, including: A) Internet Protocol (IP)-based processor which must support multiple protocols, and B) Compliance with Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/IP and IPv6.; 3)  Be able to connect to a network’s back-end software.
    • Grid-connected DC fast chargers must have a minimum charging rate of 50 kW.
    • For each DC fast charging site, at least 50% of the connectors must be SAE CCS standard. Tesla and CHAdeMO connectors are eligible.
    • DC fast charging sites must have at least one Level 2 charger with SAE standard J1772 connector.
    • At least 50% of the Level 2 connectors must be SAE standard J1772. Level 2 Tesla connectors are eligible.
    • Level 1 chargers are not required to have an attached cord and connector. If a Level 1 charger is equipped with an attached cord, the connector must be a SAE standard J1772 connector.
    • The equipment must be able to withstand extreme weather conditions associated with the deployment area, including extreme temperature, heavy rains, and high winds.
    • Display screens must be protected from malfunctions due to condensation and any local area weather conditions.
  6. Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) – Per PUC 740.20 EVITP requirements, all electric vehicle charging infrastructure and equipment located on the customer side of the electrical meter shall be installed by a contractor with the appropriate license classification, as determined by the Contractors’ State License Board, and at least one electrician on each crew, at any given time, who holds an EVITP certification. Projects that include installation of a charging port supplying 25 kilowatts or more to a vehicle must have at least 25 percent of the total electricians working on the crew for the project, at any given time, who hold EVITP certification. One member of each crew may be both the contractor and an EVITP certified electrician. The requirements stated in this paragraph do not apply to any of the following:
    • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed by employees of an electrical corporation or local publicly owned electric utility.
    • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure funded by moneys derived from credits generated from the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program (Subarticle 7 (commencing with Section 95480) of Article 4 of Subchapter 10 of Chapter 1 of Division 3 of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations).
    • Single-family home residential electric vehicle chargers that can use an existing 208/240-volt outlet.
  7. Operation, Maintenance, and Uptime – The equipment must be operational at least 97 percent of the standard operating hours of the charging facility for a period of 5 years from commissioning. It will be the recipient’s responsibility to demonstrate this uptime requirement is met.
  8. Payment Options – Public charging equipment must be capable of supporting multiple point-of-sale methods, such as pay-per-use and subscription methods, including ability to accept a credit or debit card without incurring any additional fees. The charger may offer additional payment mechanisms, such as ISO 15118 Plug-and-Charge, a device which accepts RFID or Smart cards, or payment through mobile apps. The point-of-sale and supporting network must use an open protocol to allow subscribers of other EV charging system networks to access the charging station.
  9. Customer Service – The project must provide customer support service that is accessible during all standard operating hours of the charger via a toll-free telephone number, an email address clearly posted near the charging equipment, and through the online portal that is available to EV drivers accessing the charging equipment. The customer support service must be capable of providing or dispatching services to address customer concerns at the charging station. Customer support must be available in English and Spanish.
What are eligible project costs? Costs incurred for the following are eligible for CEC reimbursement or as the Applicant’s match share:
  • EVSE
  • Transformers
  • Electric panels
  • Conduit
  • Wiring
  • Meters
  • Distributed energy resources or energy storage equipment/systems capable of providing independent or supplemental power to the EV chargers
  • Photovoltaic solar panels separately metered for electric charging
  • Installation costs
  • Planning and engineering design costs
  • Stub-outs
  • Demand management equipment
  • Equipment warranties for during the term of the agreement
  • Maintenance, or maintenance agreement
  • Local engagement and outreach related to rural EV charging.

What are the funding levels for this program? The minimum CEC award amount is $500,000. The maximum CEC award amount is 80% of the total project costs or $1.6 million, whichever is less.

What is the match share requirement? Applications must include a minimum match of 20 percent of the total project costs.

What is the anticipated award timeline? Applications are due on March 11, 2022 by 11:59pm. The anticipated Notice of Proposed Award Posting Date is the week of May 16, 2022.

When does the project need to be completed by? All work must be scheduled for completion no later than March 31, 2028 to allow timely processing of final invoices before the liquidation of the funds.

The Program Solicitation Manual can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764.


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