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State looking for public input on proposed electric vehicle plan

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Noya Fields
/
Creative Commons

The public comment period on a plan that will determine how New Hampshire spends about $17 million in federal funding for electric vehicle charging stations closes this Friday, June 10.

The money comes from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, or NEVI, which was established in the federal infrastructure law.

Chris Skoglund, director of energy transition at Clean Energy New Hampshire, said that program represents the biggest source of dedicated EV funds in the state, with $4.6 million from a Volkswagen legal settlement the second largest.

The NEVI funds are meant to be used for building out public charging capacity in the state, focused on stations along so-called “Alternative Fuel Corridors,” like I-93 and I-95.

Those corridors are designated by the Federal Highway Administration as places where people can charge their electric vehicles, or fill up with other less common kinds of fuel.

Skoglund said the funds are like a down payment, helping the state get ready for the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. But, he said, that money isn’t enough.

“This is a critical first step, but it is not what I would describe as a robust electrification plan for the transportation sector in New Hampshire.”

In May, state regulators rejected a proposal from Unitil that would have started laying the groundwork for more EV infrastructure in the state. A similar, smaller proposal from Eversource is still in front of the state Public Utilities Commission.

The Department of Transportation has said its goal with the funding is to “deploy an interconnected and equitable network of public electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to support emissions reductions in the State of New Hampshire, encourage electric vehicle travel, and stimulate public-private sector collaboration.”

Transportation accounts for the largest share of New Hampshire’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Members of the public can send comments on the plan to the Department of Transportation at ev-infrastructure@dot.nh.gov.

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