Federal government approves Kentucky’s plan, further cementing the state’s status as a leader in the electric vehicle revolution
FRANKFORT, Kentucky (September 15, 2022) – Today, Governor Andy Beshear announced that Kentucky, having already attracted more than $9 billion in investment from electric vehicle battery manufacturers and automotive suppliers, has received federal approval to develop a network of electric vehicle charging of nearly $70 million.
“Kentucky was already a leader in automotive production and America’s capital of electric vehicle battery production, helping us create thousands of high-quality jobs for Kentuckians,” Gov. Beshear said. “Today, we are further cementing the state’s status as a leader in the electric vehicle revolution by beginning to build the infrastructure of charging stations that will enable electric vehicle travel to every corner of our republic. “
from Kentucky Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment Plan describes Kentucky high priority EV corridors and was developed by the Kentucky Cabinet of Transportation (KYTC) in cooperation with the Cabinet of Energy and Environment (CEE), the Civil Service Commission, and the Federal Highway Administration, along with input from hundreds other agencies, organizations and interested parties.
The plan was submitted to the U.S. Joint Energy and Transportation Bureau in late July and has now been approved, securing funds from the federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) formula program. Federal funding for the first two years of the program will be provided to KYTC over the next few months. With matching funds, a total of $86.9 million will be available for electric vehicle charging infrastructure over the next five years.
NEVI’s initial funding is to be spent building direct current fast-charging (DCFS) stations that can fully charge a battery in 30 minutes or less at interchanges along highways and parkways. Kentucky has already identified other priority highways on which charger access will be expanded in future phases to fill connectivity gaps.
“Our goal is to have a statewide network of electric vehicle chargers by 2025,” said KYTC Secretary, Jim Gray. “The federal government’s approval of our EV plan now ensures that Kentucky will receive $25 million in federal funds this year to begin designing and building this network, starting with our highways and parkways.”
Kentucky is the production capital of electric vehicle batteries in the United States
Kentucky was already the nation’s top per capita producer of cars, light trucks and SUVs, with iconic makes and models like Corvette, Toyota Camry and Ford F-150. Further strengthen the position of Kentucky, two giants of the EV battery industry – Ford Motor Co. and SK innovation and Consider AESC – recently selected Kentucky to build two battery manufacturing plants along Interstate Highway 65 in Glendale and Bowling Green. These projects represent nearly $8 billion in investments and will create 7,000 quality jobs.
Other notable automotive suppliers have also announced plans to expand into Kentucky including Quadrant Magnetics and Piston Automotive in Jefferson County, Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems America in Madison County, Firestone Industrial Products in Whitley County , Ascend Elements and Martinrea Hopkinsville in Christian County, LOTTE. Aluminum and Advanced Nano Products in Hardin County and Arkema in Marshall County. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky also announced more investment and jobs at its Georgetown manufacturing plant to support electric vehicle production.
These electric vehicle projects total more than $9.2 billion in new investment with more than 8,500 full-time jobs announced since Governor Beshear took office.
“Advances in transportation and electric vehicle manufacturing will be transformative,” EEC Secretary Rebecca Goodman said. “It fits perfectly with the Commonwealth Energy Strategy which strives to create a diverse and resilient energy infrastructure and encourages sustainable economic development in a changing climate.”
Approved alternative fuel corridors
In July, the Federal Highway Administration approved Kentucky’s plan for Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs). Under this plan, Kentucky’s 11 highways and eight parkways are now designated as EV AFC (blue routes on the EV corridor map). Federal guidelines require that funds from the NEVI Formula program first be dedicated to building Kentucky’s AFC long-distance EV charging network. Fast charging stations must be located no more than 50 miles apart along the AFC, within one mile of the AFC, must each have four ports at 150 kilowatts per port per station (600 kilowatts total) and must not be proprietary (stations limited to specific vehicles). Several factors were considered when identifying the corridors, including distance to existing charging stations, equity and access in rural communities. Specific charging locations will be determined later.
On August 24, KYTC issued a Request for information (RFI) from the private sector regarding the deployment of DCFC stations on the EV AFC corridors. The RFI is a precursor to developing a request for proposals for the deployment of DCFC stations on AFC EVs. Local communities and other agencies can apply for competitive grants to fund electric vehicle charging stations later in 2022 or early 2023 after the U.S. Department of Transportation issued additional guidance and a Notice of Opportunity to funding.