U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation issues $54 million NOFO for Communities Taking Charge Accelerator

April 19, 2024
The Communities Taking Charge Accelerator will enhance electric mobility in communities and is open to academic, nonprofit, for-profit and government entities, including transit agencies.

The U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, has issued a $54 million Communities Taking Charge Accelerator Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to enhance electric mobility in communities without access to home charging infrastructure and transition all types of fleets to electric vehicles. It also focuses on developing managed charging solutions to optimize grid efficiency and integrate renewable energy to promote sustainability, economic growth and community health. 

The Communities Taking Charge Accelerator advances the mission and vision of the Joint Office by accelerating solutions that make it possible for communities everywhere to ride and drive electric, in line with strategies detailed in the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization. 

“Cities and towns around the country can benefit from this broad funding opportunity that expands access to electric mobility while managing impact on the grid,” said Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office. “With strategic investments in communities of all sizes, these federal dollars will address barriers to extending access to clean mobility options for individuals without home charging or those traveling by public transportation, micromobility, ride-hailing or taxi while creating tools to optimize transportation electrification on the electrical grid.” 

The Communities Taking Charge NOFO extends access to electrification opportunities beyond existing Joint Office–supported programs to more communities across America. Funding is available to academic, non-profit, for-profit and government entities for planning, demonstration, and/or deployment projects that drive innovation in equitable clean transportation. The funding topics and objectives are: 

  • Solving for no-home charging: Expanding charging access for privately owned e-mobility by funding e-mobility charging solutions for individuals without access to home charging for their electric vehicles and mobility devices (e.g., cars, e-bikes, e-scooters, electric wheelchairs). 
  • Expanding e-mobility solutions through electrified micro, light- and medium-Duty fleets by funding charging and deployment solutions for electrified ultra-light, micro, light- and medium-duty fleets that transport people through shared rides, shared vehicles (including micromobility) or transit operations and that transport goods to communities through last mile delivery vehicles. 
  • Managed charging for clean reliable energy, which funds projects that accelerate solutions in the electric vehicle charging ecosystem, including requirements and specifications for end-to-end managed charging functionality, to make the most efficient use of infrastructure and minimize impacts on the electrical grid. 

The Federal Transit Administration says the e-mobility component of the program “will drive innovation in equitable clean transportation by investing in projects that expand access to electric vehicles, including accelerating the transition to e-bus fleets and advancing charging systems to optimize use of the grid.” 

The new funding builds on the Joint Office’s existing work supporting the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program and Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program, which provide $7.5 billion for states and communities to build a convenient and reliable national charging network. Additional programs like USDOT’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program for transit and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program provide up to $10.6 billion for electric bus deployment. 

The funding will support Justice40 Initiative goals which aim to deliver 40 percent of federal investments in clean energy and climate solutions to disadvantaged communities, as defined by Executive Order 14008, and to drive creation of accessible, good-paying jobs with the free and fair chance for workers to join a union. The Communities Taking Charge Accelerator will expand electric vehicle adoption and charging access in urbanized areas where land use, density, car ownership rates, grid considerations and other factors create unique needs and considerations for electrifying the transportation network. The funding will also support managed charging solutions that improve overall grid stability, reduce peak demand surges and ensure fair access for all EV users, regardless of their residential circumstances. 

The full NOFO can be read here. Applicants must submit a concept paper by May 20, 2024, and full applications are due July 16, 2024. 

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service Pros.com in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.