Gov. Beshear: Kentucky to Build Electric Vehicle Charging Network

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2022) – Gov. Andy Beshear today announced that Kentucky can receive as much as $10,280,470 in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for fiscal year 2022 to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

The money is part of $5 billion available to states over the next five years under the new federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program.

“We know that electric vehicles are the way of the future, and Kentucky is going to be at the center of that transition,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kentuckians are going to be making the batteries for these cars, and this will ensure we have the infrastructure in place that will allow Kentuckians to drive and enjoy them.”

Gov. Beshear is co-chair of the National Governor’s Association’s Economic Recovery and Revitalization Task Force, which recently met with automotive industry leaders to discuss the growth in the EV industry and how it can spur job growth and economic development in states that adopt EV infrastructure.

Projects eligible for funding under NEVI include:

  • The acquisition and installation of EV charging infrastructure to serve as a catalyst for the deployment of such infrastructure and to connect it to a network to facilitate data collection, access and reliability;
  • Proper operation and maintenance of EV charging infrastructure; and
  • Data sharing about EV charging infrastructure to ensure the long-term success of investments.

States must submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan before they can access these funds. A second, competitive grant program designed to further increase EV charging access in locations throughout the country, including in rural and underserved communities, will be announced later this year. The Federal Highway Administration will issue guidance on how states can apply for the funding in coming months.

DOT has also released an EV Rural Charging Toolkit, which is a one-stop resource for rural communities to plan and implement EV charging infrastructure projects.

Kentucky is at the red-hot center of the EV revolution. Last September, the single largest economic development project in state history was announced, with Ford Motor Co. and its partner SK Innovation investing nearly $6 billion and creating 5,000 to build the BlueOvalSK battery park in Hardin County. The Governor said we believe that when the park’s two plants are fully operational, it will be the nation’s largest producer of EV batteries.

Not long after that, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, which has been building cars for 30 years at its massive plant in Scott County, made its own major EV announcement. Toyota is investing $461 million to prepare the Georgetown plant for EVs and is welcoming about 1,400 temporary workers to permanent full-time positions.

“These projects are so large that they create their own gravity,” Gov. Beshear said. “Companies are looking to come to Kentucky to be part of this EV revolution, to help us build out the EV supply chain.”

Last month, the Governor said with Kentucky taking the lead on electric vehicles, his budget proposal includes $100 million to begin building up our electric vehicle charging station infrastructure. It uses $30.5 million from the General Fund, of which $17 million will meet the state match to unlock nearly $70 million in federal funding from the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.