US Minimum Standards for EV Charging Infrastructure
This guide covers the most important requirements on EV Charging Stations and Networks that receive funds under the NEVI Formula Program.
The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program is a large federal fund established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021. In an attempt to kickstart nation-wide EV infrastructure projects to encourage wider EV adoption, the NEVI Formula Program established a set of minimum standards for those wishing to gain access to those funds.
These standards were made more precise in early 2023 and set out to standardize EV charging infrastructure, protect the customer and ensure that EVs would become the norm by the end of the decade.
This guide distills the most important requirements that are set out by the NEVI minimum standards on federally funded EV charging infrastructure and networks. As a brief outline of the NEVI minimum standards, this guide doesn’t seek to be exhaustive in its analysis or how these standards might be interpreted by legal bodies or courts. We'll strive to make this document as updated and as relevant as possible as new additions are made.
As there are a number of categories of obligations on a charging provider, we’re dividing the various NEVI obligations under the following categories:
1. Customer-facing obligations
5. How eDRV can help you with NEVI minimum requirements
Customer-facing Obligations under NEVI
The NEVI minimum requirements place the customer or the EV drivers as the main focus of their standards. The standards look to protect EV drivers by ensuring access to EV charging stations, protecting their rights when it comes to payments and pricing, as well as protecting the customer’s data and their right to be informed. We’ll look at each of these topics in turn.
Availability of EV charge stations
Under the NEVI minimum standards:
- Every charging station along Alternative Fuel Corridors must be available 24/7.
- Charging stations that are not along Alternative Fuel Corridors and not intended to serve must be available for use and accessible to the public during the business operating hours of the site host as a minimum. There might be acceptable exceptions to these requirements like in the case of temporary interruptions in service or maintenance and repairs.
- Chargers are to be maintained in compliance with the NEVI minimum standards for a minimum of 5 years from the initial date of the operation.
An important feature of accessibility includes the right of the customer to complain or report faulty equipment. To this end the NEVI minimum standards also state that:
- EV charging customers must have a mechanism to report issues with charging stations.
- These reporting mechanisms must also provide multilingual services and be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Payments and pricing
Under the NEVI minimum requirements:
- Charging stations must provide a contactless payment method that accepts major credit and debit cards. They also have to accept payment through either an automated toll-free phone number or SMS.
- Payment methods must also be accessible to persons with disabilities, not require a membership, not affect the power flow to vehicles, and provide access for those that have limited English proficiency. Automated toll-free phone numbers and SMS payment options must clearly identify payment access for these populations
In addition to this, there are also NEVI requirements as to pricing. Namely that:
- Recipients of the NEVI funds should ensure public transparency for how the price will be determined and set for EV charging.
- The price for charging must be displayed prior to initiating a charging transaction and be based on the price for electricity that’s charged in dollars per kilowatt hour ($/kWh).
- If the price for charging is not currently based on the price for electricity to charge an EV in $/kWh, it must be satisfied by 2025.
- The price for charging displayed and communicated via the charging network must be the real-time price.
- The price at the start of the session cannot change during the session.
- Price structure including any other fees in addition to the price for electricity to charge must be clearly displayed and explained
Customer Data Protection
The NEVI minimum standards take the protection of EV drivers’ data seriously and state that:
- Charging station operators can only collect, process and retain personal information strictly necessary to provide the charging service to a customer.
- Chargers and charging networks should be compliant with appropriate Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for the processing, transmission, and storage of cardholder data.
- Charging station operators must take reasonable measures to safeguard customer data.
Keeping the Customer Informed
It’s really important to keep the customer informed under the NEVI standards. For charging station operators it’s important to keep in mind that:
- Information on location of publicly available charging locations as well the price, real-time availability and accessibility must be provided to customers through map apps.
- These specific data fields that must be available, free of charge, to third party software developers. The price for EV charging must be displayed and be in real time.
- Any other fees in addition to the price for electricity must be clearly displayed and explained.
- Each charging port must have an average annual uptime greater than 97%.
- A charging port is considered “up” when its hardware and software are both online and available for use, or in use, and the charging port successfully dispenses electricity in accordance with requirements for minimum power level.
- Exclusions to the uptime rule include scheduled maintenance, vandalism, natural disasters, and limited hours of operation.
- Charging port uptime must be calculated on a monthly basis for the previous twelve months.
Technical requirements under NEVI
There are a number of technical requirements for EV charging infrastructure to access NEVI funding. To make things a little easier we’ve grouped these into requirements of connectivity, interoperability, security and openness to 3rd party software vendors. We’ll also look into some of the physical requirements of charge stations as well as the requirements on technicians in this section.
Charging networks and chargers have specific requirements as to their connectivity. In particular:
- Charger-to-charger-network: Chargers must have the ability to receive and implement secure, remote software updates and conduct real-time protocol translation, encryption and decryption, authentication, and authorization in their communication with charging networks.
- Charging networks must perform and chargers must support remote charger monitoring, diagnostics, control, and smart charge management
- Chargers and charging networks must securely measure, communicate, store, and report energy and power dispensed, real-time charging-port status, real-time price to the customer, and historical charging-port uptime.
- Charging-network-to-charging-network: A charging network must be capable of communicating with other charging networks to enable an EV driver to use a single method of identification to charge at Charging Stations that are a part of multiple charging networks.
- Charging-network-to-grid: Charging networks must be capable of secure communication with electric utilities, other energy providers, or local energy management systems.
- Chargers must remain functional if communication with the charging network is temporarily disrupted, such that they initiate and complete charging sessions, providing the minimum required power level specified below.
It will now be the standard that all NEVI funding will go to infrastructure that is interoperable or allows for EV roaming between networks. To allow for greater interoperability:
- Chargers must be designed to securely switch charging network providers without any changes to hardware.
- Charging Network to Charging Network: By 2025, all federally funded chargers must comply with the protocol for E-roaming known as the Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI 2.2.1).
- Charger to EV: Chargers must conform to ISO 15118-3 and must have hardware capable of implementing both ISO 15118-2 and ISO 15118-20.
- By 2025 Charger software must conform to ISO 15118-2 and be capable of Plug and Charge. Conformance testing for charger software and hardware should follow ISO 15118-4 and ISO 15118-5, respectively.
- Charger to Charger Network: Chargers must conform to Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) 1.6J or higher.
- By 2025, chargers must conform to OCPP 2.0.1.
The security requirements under NEVI applies to States that apply for the funding:
- States have to implement appropriate physical strategies for the location of the charging station and cybersecurity strategies that protect consumer data and protect against the risk of harm to the charging infrastructure and the grid.
- Cybersecurity strategies include user identity and access management; cryptographic agility and support of multiple PKIs; monitoring and detection; incident prevention and handling; configuration, vulnerability, and software update management; third-party cybersecurity testing and certification; and continuity of operation when communication between the charger and charging network is disrupted.
Communication requirement to 3rd party software developers
Under the NEVI rules, the network operator must ensure that the following data fields are made available free of charge, to third-party software developers, via an app programming interface or dashboard:
(1) Unique charging station name or identifier
(2) Address (street address, city, State, and zip code) of the property where the charging station is located
(3) Geographic coordinates in decimal degrees of exact charging station location
(4) Charging station operator name
(5) Charging network provider name
(6) Charging station status (operational, under construction, planned, or decommissioned)
(7) Charging station access information including Charging station access type (public or limited to commercial vehicles) and Charging station access days/times (hours of operation for the charging station)
(8) Charging port information including number of charging ports, Unique port identifier, Connector types available by port, Charging level by port (DCFC, AC Level 2, Power delivery rating in kilowatts by port, Accessibility by vehicle with trailer (pull-through stall) by port (yes/no) and Real-time status by port in terms defined by Open Charge Point Interface 2.2.1.
(9) Pricing and payment information including Pricing structure, Real-time price to charge at each charging port, in terms defined by Open Charge Point Interface 2.2.1, and Payment methods accepted at charging stations.
Physical requirements of EV charging stations
The NEVI rules also have conditions placed on the physical requirements of charge stations. Namely:
- All charge station equipment has to be appropriately certified. All AC Level 2 chargers have to be ENERGY STAR certified.
- Installed charging stations are required to have a minimum of 4 ports. This is required irrespective of the type of port that the charger has.
- When a DC Fast Charger (DCFC) charging station is installed (and designed to serve) at Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs), there must be at least four network-connected DCFC charging ports at each station.
- Every DCFC port must have a Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 1 connector.
- DCFC charging ports can also have other non-proprietary connectors so long as each port is capable of charging a CCS-compliant vehicle.
- Permanently attached CHAdeMO connectors can be provided using only FY2022 NEVI Funds.
- Each AC Level 2 charging port must have a permanently attached J1772 connector and must charge any J1772- compliant vehicle.
- DCFC charging ports must support output voltages between 250 volts DC and 920 volts DC. Every DCFC located at an Alternative Fuel Corridor must simultaneously deliver up to 150kW, as requested by the EV.
- Every AC Level 2 port must be capable of providing at least 6 kW per port simultaneously across all AC ports. There should also be an option for the customer to consent to accept a lower power level to allow power sharing or to participate in smart charge management programs.
- Power sharing is permissible above the minimum 150kW per port requirement for DCFCs.
Requirements on Technicians
The workforce involved in installing, maintaining and operating the chargers must have appropriate licenses, certifications and training according to the NEVI rules.
All electricians have to have a certification from the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) or be graduated from or have a continuing education certificate from a registered apprenticeship program.
For projects that require more than one electrician, at least one electrician must be enrolled in an electrical registered apprenticeship program. Meanwhile, non-electrical work must be performed in accordance with State requirements.
- NEVI-funded projects must submit data on the following on a quarterly basis
- Charging station identifier.
- Charging port identifier. This must be the same charging port identifier used to identify the charging port in data made available to third-parties (eg software companies)
- Charging session start time, end time, and any error codes associated with an unsuccessful charging session by port
- Energy (kWh) dispensed to EVs per charging session by port
- Peak session power (kW) by port
- Payment method associated with each charging session
- Charging station port uptime,
- Duration (minutes) of each outage.
- There’s also a requirement for a one-off data report for projects and grants awarded for EV charging stations located along Alternative Fuel Corridors.
- Every NEVI Formula Program project must submit a Community Engagement Outcomes Report as part of the State EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan.
- All data that is made public through these reporting requirements is to be aggregated and anonymized to protect confidential business information.
Profits and income
Use of income derived from the sale, use, lease, or lease renewal of real property acquired shall be used for Title 23, U.S.C., eligible projects. In other words the profit from the land will be used to build other highway and public infrastructure projects.
The use of income derived from the operation of the EV charging facility shall be used for 1) debt services,
2) reasonable return on investment for private financing,
3) improvement or maintenance of the EV charging station,
4) payments under public-private partnerships, or
5) other Title 23 purposes.
How can eDRV help you with NEVI requirements?
We hope you found this guide useful. Although many of the provisions are clear in their intent, be it protecting the customer’s rights or ensuring standard protocols across networks, what’s less clear is how these standards might be interpreted in the future. We’ll seek to update this document as best we can to keep up with new developments on the NEVI rules.
eDRV has a host of solutions to fit your needs to make you NEVI ready. From customizable dashboards to see your energy management vitals at a glance, to providing secure and compliant APIs to provide transparent pricing as well as seamless payments experiences for your customers, reach out to us for a free demo of our charge management solutions.
Glossary of terms
Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC): National EV charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors designated by FHWA.
Charger: a device with one or more charging ports and connectors for charging EVs. Also referred to as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).
Charging Port: the system within a charger that charges one EV. A charging port may have multiple connectors, but it can provide power to charge only one EV through one connector at a time.
Charging Station: the area in the immediate vicinity of a group of chargers and includes the chargers, supporting equipment, parking areas adjacent to the chargers, and lanes for vehicle ingress and egress. A charging station could comprise only part of the property on which it is located.
Contactless Payment:a secure method for consumers to purchase services using a debit card, credit card, smartcard, mobile application, or another payment device by using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and near-field communication (NFC).
Cryptographic agility: A new word popularized by the NEVI Formula Program. The capacity to rapidly update or switch between data encryption systems, algorithms and processes without the need to redesign the protocol, software, system, or standard.
Direct Current Fast charger (DCFC): a charger that enables rapid charging by delivering direct-current (DC) electricity directly to an EV’s battery.
Interoperability: The ability for an EV to use multiple networks without membership. Also known as EV roaming.
Medium and heavy duty vehicles (MD/HD): Larger vehicles like electric buses and trucks. Fleet EV adoption is a key to decarbonization.
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP): Protocol that governs communications between charge station and centralised server. For more see our OCPP page.
Open Charge Point Interface(OCPI): Protocol that allows for roaming or interoperability between EV charging networks.
Plug and Charge -a method of initiating charging, whereby an EV charging customer plugs a connector into their vehicle and their identity is authenticated through digital certificates defined by ISO-15118, a charging session initiates, and a payment is transacted automatically, without any other customer actions required at the point of use.
Power Sharing - dynamically limiting the charging power output of individual charging ports at the same charging station to ensure that the sum total power output to all EVs concurrently charging remains below a maximum power threshold. This is also called automated load management.
Public Key Infrastructure - a system of processes, technologies, and policies to encrypt and digitally sign data. It involves the creation, management, and exchange of digital certificates that authenticate the identity of users, devices, or services to ensure trust and secure communication
Smart Charge Management – controlling the amount of power dispensed by chargers to EVs to meet customers’ charging needs while also responding to external power demand or pricing signals to provide load management, resilience, or other benefits to the electric grid.