Accessing California Funding for EV Charging Infrastructure

California is leading the way in developing its EV charging infrastructure and has nearly $3 billion in federal and state funds targeted for the effort. Companies looking to access these funds, including EV charging station operators and manufacturers, automotive OEMS who own their own charging networks, and utility/power providers, must navigate a complex regulatory framework that includes meeting specific requirements and obtaining specific product certifications.

Sources of EV Infrastructure Funding

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program received $5 billion of the $1.2 trillion dedicated to infrastructure in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The NEVI program distributed these funds to each state, which must now determine how to redistribute the funds and the requirements to receive them.
California’s share of NEVI funding is $384 million, adding to the state’s own considerable funding programs and incentives to develop its EV charging infrastructure in support of:
  • Phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks by 2035
  • Transitioning all medium- and heavy-duty (MD/HD) vehicles to zero-emission vehicles by 2045 and drayage trucks by 2035
All told, California has nearly $3 billion dedicated to expanding EV infrastructure through 2026.

Requirements to Access Funding

California has two pathways to access EV infrastructure funding, each with similar requirements.
1. The NEVI program outlines the minimum requirements for accessing the majority of the funds. These requirements must be met for charging stations in the Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFCs) along California’s major interstates and national highways.
2. CALeVIP (California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project) administers the funds from the California Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program.
Identical technical requirements for both NEVI and CALeVIP:
  • Charging networks must be capable of communicating with other charging networks in accordance with Open Charge Point Interface (OCPI) 2.2.1 by February 28, 2024.
  • Chargers must conform to ISO 15118-3. By February 28, 2024, chargers must conform to ISO 15118-2 and be capable of supporting Plug and Charge. Conformance testing follows ISO 15118-4 and ISO 15118-5.
Slight variance between NEVI and CALeVIP requirements:
  • Open Charge Point Protocol (OCCP) certification (mandatory under CALeVIP) or conformance (NEVI). Chargers must be certified to/conform with OCPP 1.6J or higher. By February 28, 2024, chargers must be certified to/conform with OCPP 2.0.1.
Apart from the minimum communication and interoperability requirements, all AC/DC chargers must comply with and be tested against additional functional, reliability, and performance requirements, such as SAE J1772 and SAE J2953 or alternatively IEC 61851-1 and IEC 61851-23, to meet the uptime requirements of the NEVI standards and deliver a seamless charging experience to consumers.
All chargers must also comply and be certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), such as DEKRA, for all regulatory aspects, including the required EnergyStar certification for AC level 2 chargers.

How DEKRA Can Help

DEKRA offers a range of testing and certification services specific to EV charging infrastructure and can help you understand the specific requirements that apply to your products.
DEKRA is the only laboratory in North America accredited by the Open Charge Alliance to perform OCPP 1.6 certifications. In addition, we provide ISO 15118-2 and ISO 15118-3 compliance and interoperability testing for EVSE supporting AC and DC charging modes, external means of communication (EIM), and plug and charge (PnC).
In addition, DEKRA is one of the first CharIN-recognized testing laboratories that can issue CharIN certificates for DC chargers up to 360 kW.
Testing for these and other related standards can be performed at our Vehicle-Grid Innovation Laboratory (ViGIL) in California or in our lab outside Washington, D.C.
Widest testing scope in the industry, conducted at the industry’s most comprehensive laboratories.
Deep automotive experience and networks, developed over more than a decade of e-mobility testing as part of our 95 years at the forefront of global automotive innovation.
Seat-at-the-table knowledge through our work with standards organizations, working groups and regulatory bodies to ensure compliance and develop new standards and certification programs.
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