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7 keys to unlock a winning grant proposal

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Written by: Alexa Stone

The Federal Highway Administration recently published 34 pages of rules for projects funded under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. Effective March 30, 2023, the NEVI standards explain what grant proposals for EV charging facilities must include, and why.

CHARGING STATION EQUIPMENT

The grant proposal must show that the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) will provide reliable charging while protecting the security of customer data. That requires documentation that meets several standards:

  • CONFIGURATION AND QUALITY
    • Number of ports
    • Connector types
    • Power level
      DC fast chargers must deliver at least 150 kilowatts.
    • Certification by a national testing laboratory
  • PAYMENT PROCESSING
    • Payment methods accepted
    • Customer data privacy
    • Cybersecurity threat protection

TECHNICIAN QUALIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION

Qualifications for technicians who will install, operate, and maintain the EV infrastructure should be stated within the grant proposal. Specify the required training and certification for each category of technician.

BUSINESS MODEL DOCUMENTATION

The business model outlined in the grant proposal should inform the grantor of how the project will be funded and how it will be sustainable in the long term.

  • ESSENTIAL DETAILS
    • Revenue streams
      These may include sponsorships and advertising as well as fees for charging.
    • Operating costs
    • Security measures
    • Long-term stewardship plan
    • Income from the sale, use, lease, or lease renewal of real property acquired.

CHARGING NETWORK CONNECTIVITY

Proposals for federally funded EVCI projects must address how the project will connect to the national EV charging network.

  • COMMUNICATION
    • Vehicle to charging station
      For detailed standards, look to ISO 15118, which specifies the communication between EV and EVSE.
    • Charger to charger
    • Charger to network
    • Charging network to charging network
    • Interoerability between states
  • REMOTE FUNCTIONS
    • Monitoring and control
    • Diagnostics
    • Updates

VISUAL MAPPING DATA

The mapping data from EVCI facilities will assist the traveling public in locating available charging stations. That further helps them plan their trips and determine when and where to charge their vehicles. Federal agencies and other grantor organizations will look for relevant data elements in a grant proposal.

  • LOCATION DETAILS
    • GPS coordinates (latitude and longitude)
    • Connector types
    • Power level
    • Pricing
    • Accessibility
    • Availability (real time)

STANDARDIZED USE, RELIABILITY, AND COST DATA

The U.S. DOE/DOT Joint Office of Energy and Transportation will soon require standardized data from charging stations across the United States. In early 2024, an Electric Vehicle Charging Analytics and Reporting Tool (EV-ChART) will be online to provide nationwide EV charging infrastructure data to the traveling public. The required data will be published to inform the public where charging stations are available, reliable, and affordable.

TRAFFIC CONTROL PLANNING

EV infrastructure projects should follow guidelines of the FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). That manual includes specifications for the size and placement of signs. It also addresses the appearance, placement, and maintenance of pavement markings.

Grant and funding consulting

By including the keys of NEVI Program standards, a grant application will align with most granting organization requirements. Beyond that, grant makers may favor projects with community benefits. Applications that cite potential for reducing air pollution, creating jobs, and improving public health will have an even greater winning edge!

Grant-writing must be thorough, but clarity and timeliness outshine complexity. For that, ecoPreserve is here to help!

SOURCES:

Grants.gov – Tips for preparing grant proposals
FederalRegister.gov – NEVI Standards and Requirements
ISO.org – Vehicle to grid communication interface (ISO Standard)

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