The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) started the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) grant program in 2014 with funding from the Department of Environmental Conservation, investing $200,000 on 15 projects in designated downtowns and village centers. The number of registered EVs in Vermont has risen from 943 in July 2015 to 3,971 in July 2020 or a 321% increase over five years, signaling the need for a more robust EVSE network in the state.
In 2017, Volkswagen’s settlement agreement provided Vermont $2.8 million in funding to expand its network of electric vehicle charging stations. The program is administered by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development in coordination with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Agency of Transportation, the Public Service Department, and the Department of Health. Grant proceeds result from settlements to partially resolve Volkswagen’s violations of the Clean Air Act.
Recent investments to bolster the EVSE network has positioned Vermont as #1 in the nation for the number of of EV charging stations per capita, with 114 public charging stations per 100,000 people.
In 2019, the EVSE grant program received 141 applications in two grant rounds, requesting over $4M in funding. Thirty projects were awarded over $1M in funding to install seventy-five Level 2 and five DC fast charge units located in state designated centers, highway corridors, public park and rides, major attractions and institutions, multi-family housing and workplaces.
In 2020, the remaining $1.7 million in VW funding was awarded to Blink Charging to support the installation of DC fast stations and level 2 stations at 11 priority locations on highway corridors helping to fill out geographic gaps in the EVSE network in Enosburg, Fair Haven, Johnson, Ludlow, Newport, Randolph, Rutland, Springfield, South Hero, St Johnsbury, and Wilmington. These locations will be installed in 2021-2022.
In 2020, the legislature appropriated $750,000 in funding to continue building out the network of DC fast charge stations for remaining gaps and redundancies in high use areas on highway corridors. In 2021, a contractor was selected to provide Direct Current Fast Charging and Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at six defined geographic locations in Alburgh, Bradford, Brighton, Hardwick, Vergennes and Waterbury including associated operations, maintenance, and management services for a seven-year period. Installation is planned for 2022.
In 2021, the legislature approved $1,000,000 in funding to install chaging stations at multi-unit dwelling affordable housing units, bringing home charging to Vermonters in a more equitable, accessible and affordable way. The program is currently being designed with a planned launch in 2022.
Drive Electric Vermont
Information on electric vehicle incentives and charging options is available at www.driveelectricvt.com.
EVSE-friendly Development Regulations for Municipalities:
To support the EVSE Grant Program, meeting-ready guidance is available for planners and planning commissioners to help prepare and update local regulations that welcome electric vehicle charging stations. The guidance provides an overview of the latest EV trends in Vermont and offers tips to update use, parking, sign, performance, and procedural standards that easily accommodate this new technology in local bylaws.