Idaho’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure plan, also known as NEVI (Nev-ee), is fully charged and ready to take on the second phase of their planning process – with you! The Office of Energy and Mineral Resources, Idaho Transportation Department, along with the Department of Environmental Quality will join in as a 3-member partnership, teaming up with consultant Jacobs Solutions to bolster the clean energy transition in Idaho.
Here’s a Little Refresher
NEVI is funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and is part of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will allocate $1.2. trillion to US infrastructure projects. Between FY 2022-2026, Idaho expects to receive nearly $30 million to strategically deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the state.
The NEVI grant presents Idaho with a remarkable opportunity to transition into clean energy without burdening its taxpayers. With no financial cost from the pockets of Idahoans, the State of Idaho simply had to accept the federal funds. Now there’s a new future of sustainability unfolding.
This influx of money holds significant growth for the Gem State, as it shifts us toward a future with reduced demand for fossil fuel-powered vehicles. The impact is far-reaching, not only contributing to Idaho’s carbon neutrality goals at the city level but also transforming the air we breathe. As the project shifts into gear, the great Idaho outdoors will be rejuvenated, offering its residents and visitors cleaner, fresher air to savor while enjoying the landscapes.
Rev Up, and Speak Out
The first phase of NEVI was completed in 2022 by the state agencies, which resulted in a comprehensive guide on how to deploy direct current fast charger (DCFC) infrastructure in Idaho. Now, we embark on the second phase of NEVI – a pivotal step in the project. This stage focuses on gathering public input and identifying optimal charging locations along state highways and major roadways. The 3-member partnership has made it clear that all stakeholders are critical in determining what is feasible and equitable during the mapping of DCFCs. Stakeholders may include: EV owners, future EV owners, local businesses, private companies, environmental organizations, construction workers, Idaho citizens – you name it.
Public workshops will be held across the state throughout June and the rest of summer:
- June 13th: Nampa | 5 – 6:30 PM | Hispanic Cultural Center | Offered in Spanish
- June 14th: Boise | 5 – 6:30 PM | Library! | Sagebrush Room
- June 20th: Idaho Falls | 5 – 6:30 PM | Idaho Falls Activity Center | Center South Room
- June 21st: Twin Falls | 5 – 6:30 PM | College of Southern Idaho | HS Bldg #150
- June 27th: Lewiston | 5 – 6:30 PM | Lewiston Public Library | 2nd Floor
- June 28th: Coeur D’Alene | 5 – 6:30 PM | North Idaho College | Todd Lecture Hall
Those who are unable to attend the in-person workshops can catch up with a virtual public meeting that is scheduled on Monday, July 10th @ 4:30 – 6 PM. Stay up-to-date with activity, news, and events on the Idaho NEVI Program website or interagency email firstname.lastname@example.org. To ensure a smooth ride for the EV movement, make sure to plug into these meetings. And if you’re up for it, don’t miss the opportunity to share your thoughts – public comments can be delivered orally or in writing (highly recommended). There is also an EV Advocacy group that meets once a month to discuss the latest news (different workshop than NEVI). Reach out to ICL’s climate team to learn more about how to join.
Cleaner Wheels, Cleaner Future
In Idaho, the transportation sector is responsible for a good chunk of rising carbon emissions, accounting for more than 58% of the total number. Despite this alarming trend, there has been an impressive 269% rise in EV ownership since 2020. However, there is room for improvement – the current count of registered EVs in Idaho is relatively modest, standing at approximately 5,000. This figure may be attributed to Idaho’s 42nd state ranking in charging station availability in the nation, which shows why NEVI holds immense promise and importance in promoting the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.
While EVs do contribute to reducing the demand for fossil fuels, they are not a silver bullet solution to combat climate change or air quality problems. We also need other transportation alternatives to promote a sustainable and clean environment, such as making our communities more walkable and bikeable. When more people can walk greenbelts or ride their bikes on the road, that reduces the amount of vehicles on pavement. These implications should be considered as communities continue to grow while climate change impacts continue to escalate.
With more EV charging stations on the way and other incentives to get an EV, it is worth exploring whether an EV would be suitable for your needs or how alternative transportation can help you reach your destination. For a guide on electric vehicles, please visit the ICL-hosted website EVs in Idaho! And to stay updated on all things facing Idaho’s climate, sign up for our Climate Campaign email updates.