The Biden Administration Issues Standards for American-made EV Chargers

By Matthew McMullan
Feb 15 2023
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To tap federal funds, they must be assembled here immediately, and more than half of their component costs must come from the U.S. by 2024.

Legislation that both tightens and expands coverage of Buy America rules governing federal infrastructure spending passed with the big, honkin’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) in 2021. And, as noted in an Alliance for American Manufacturing opinion published recently in the Columbus (OH) Dispatch, we’re waiting on the federal government to issue lots of standards for those updates.  

As of this morning, though, we’re not waiting on the standards for electric vehicle (EV) chargers. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today revealed them and, effective immediately, all EV chargers produced by companies tapping the billions made available to them in the BIL must be assembled in America, and by 2024 55% of their component costs must be sourced from the U.S. What’s more, these chargers must be usable across all different makes of EVs. So, for example, no more Tesla chargers that only work for Teslas.  Gizmodo notes that in order to access this big chunk of federal funding Tesla has agreed to open up its network of charging stations to non-Tesla vehicles, and they aren’t the only ones:

That said, many other companies besides Tesla are also chasing that sweet federal investment, and have agreed to certain stipulations from the Department of Transportation. Ford, for instance, has said it will install public fast chargers at nearly 2,000 of its dealerships by January 2024. General Motors has promised up to 40,000 public Level 2 EV chargers by 2026—an expansion on the companies’ previously announced plans. Rental car company Hertz pledged to make one-quarter of its fleet electric by the end of next year and to install EV chargers at its locations in more than 12 major cities.

Anyway! Today’s announcement is good news for the rollout of EV infrastructure and for American manufacturing. “Made in America EV chargers will no longer be a rhetorical policy aspiration but a reality,” said AAM President Scott Paul:

“We need more Buy America implementation plans that offer specific timelines and market signals, as this announcement does. Buy America provisions leverage infrastructure spending into U.S. economic activity, well paid jobs, stronger supply chains, reduced reliance on imports from foreign adversaries, and a cleaner economy. We must also ensure that the guidance remains free of loopholes that undermine the congressional intent of the Build America, Buy America aspects of the infrastructure law.”

Read more about the new standards for American-made EV chargers here.