EV charging station grants have become more common as governments and private corporations work together to invest in sustainable infrastructure. EV charging businesses can leverage these grants to grow even faster — but first, you need to know which opportunities you and your customers qualify for. Here are some grant opportunities from the biggest EV markets in the US and Canada, and how you can start applying for them.
Finding EV charging station grants
EV charging solutions providers need to keep a few things in mind when applying for grants. First and foremost, keep track of the close date for each grant application. Many have hard deadlines, and missing one can be a severe setback for your organization. Second, review the details of each grant thoroughly. Ensure that your grant application aligns with the grant program’s explicit goals and desired outcomes. Finally, most grants are emphasizing network expansions in rural areas. Consider where you want to start your business and how grant opportunities may affect your strategy.
Grants are just one form of incentive governments offer. Rebates and regional incentives are common, too. Keep in mind that we have US and Canadian EV charger rebate finder pages on the ChargeLab website, where you’ll find even more relevant opportunities.
Federal grant opportunities
US Department of Energy — Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas Funding Opportunity
The US Department of Transportation’s Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas Funding Opportunity Announcement is part of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which approved billions in federal funding to create a sustainable infrastructure for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.
The notable caveat for the grant opportunity is that the charging stations must be made available in rural communities, which the grant defines as areas of less than 10,000 people. However, that may be a savvy business move. Installing charging stations in a rural area means there will be little to no competition, helping you gain an early foothold in the area’s market. The opportunity is discretionary, and there are no maximum award amounts. However, the floor for grant funding is $500,000.
Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust (US)
Following the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal, the company agreed to pay billions of dollars in settlements. Part of that funding has been used to create grant opportunities for projects that encourage the adoption of sustainable transportation, including the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust. A portion of this trust is dedicated to supporting the development of EV charging infrastructure across the United States. Each state has been allocated funds based on the number of affected vehicles in that state, and individual states are responsible for selecting and implementing projects.
The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) has general information on its website regarding the grant opportunities, though anyone hoping to apply for one of the EV charging station grants will need to check their state’s website for the specific requirements. Each state has been awarded a different amount of funding from the settlement, so the grant amounts vary.
Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (Canada)
This $680 million national program provides funding for the deployment of EV chargers (as well as hydrogen refueling stations) all across Canada. Though the ZEVIP program will be available until 2027, its admissions process for infrastructure owners and operators is a) only open for part of each year and b) selected competitively, so be sure to account for those variables if you’re building a business plan that includes a ZEVIP proposal.
Charging proposals eligible for ZEVIP must include at least one charger of 200 kW and above, two fast chargers of 50 kW and above, or 20 chargers of all charging levels. The maximum contribution for each project is limited to $10 million CAD, covering up to 50% of total costs.
If you're looking for help with your ZEVIP application, our turnkey partners have experience supporting the process. Check out our ZEVIP resource page for more information.
State and province grant opportunities
California Energy Commission — Clean Transportation Program
California, which has the largest EV market in the US, makes $100 million in funding available for projects such as public charging stations, workplace charging, and multi-unit dwelling charging available each year. Called the California Energy Commission Clean Transportation Program, the funds are earmarked for projects that support the adoption of clean transportation technologies, including EV charging infrastructure.
The program offers a mix of competitive grants, contracts, and rebates for eligible applicants, which change throughout the year. Like the Department of Energy grant, there’s an emphasis on grant opportunities for rural communities. The commission is currently accepting applications for Communities in Charge, which prioritizes “Ready to Go” projects in disadvantaged and disparaged communities.
One significant grant offered as a part of this program is CALeVIP, the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project. CALeVIP is one of the CEC’s block grants to provide incentives for light-duty EV charging infrastructure. ChargeLab has a dedicated resource page to help you learn more about this program.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) — ChargeNY
Charge NY is an initiative led by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) that aims to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and expand the state's EV charging infrastructure. NYSERDA offers funding opportunities through various programs, such as the Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) program. These programs provide incentives for installing Level 2 and Level 3 fast charging stations at workplaces, municipalities, and multi-unit dwellings, among others.
The exact amount of funding varies. In DCFC’s case, grant applicants can request to have 80% of the purchase, installation, and certain operational costs covered by the fund. To receive the grant funding, businesses must be able to demonstrate a plan for implementing and managing a portfolio of EV charging stations.
The NYSERDA initiative is just one component of the $750 million dollar EV infrastructure investment undertaken by the state of New York. Learn more on our New York State resource page.
Colorado Energy Office — Charge Ahead Colorado
Charge Ahead Colorado is a funding program managed by the Colorado Energy Office and the Regional Air Quality Council, aimed at increasing the adoption of electric vehicles and the necessary charging infrastructure. The program offers grants for the installation of Level 2 and Level 3 DC fast charging stations in both public and private locations, including workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, and transportation corridors.
Charge Ahead Colorado’s incentives are similar to New York’s, offering to cover up to 80% of the cost of installation for most EV charging stations, and up to 90% of the cost for charging stations located in income-qualified areas.
While these opportunities cover some of the fastest-growing areas of the EV market, most states now offer EV charging station grants in some form. Checking with state—or even local—websites is the fastest way to find grant opportunities tailored to your business’ area of operation. Charging station manufacturers and software providers will often provide information on incentives that can save your business money, too.
British Columbia — CleanBC Go Electric Public Charger Program
British Columbia’s CleanBC Go Electric Public Charger Program was created to increase the number of DCFC stations available to members of the public throughout the province. Though the program is open to applicants across all of BC, it’s currently prioritizing applications for projects that fill geographic gaps in the province’s charging infrastructure or projects that are located in rural, northern, and Indigenous communities.
The program offers rebates of up to $80,000 CAD for DCFCs of 100 kW or higher, or $130,000 CAD rebates for the same chargers installed by Indigenous communities. It also offers rebates for pilot projects (such as battery storage, curbside charging, and “other innovative public charging applications”) of up to $80,000 CAD per charging port for DCFCs of 20 kW or greater, or $130,000 CAD for Indigenous communities.
To be eligible for the program, your site must be located within BC and publicly accessible all throughout the year. All equipment must be new, purchased after the program launch date, and remain in operation for at least five years (or be replaced by a charger with equal or higher output within that time).
If you’re looking to uncover money-saving opportunities for your business, ChargeLab can help. Our team is full of industry experts who can help you get up to speed on the intricacies of running an EV charging business. Contact us today to learn more.