Justice40 and the Equitable Transportation Community Explorer

The Justice40 Initiative, referenced in Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crises at Home and Abroad, is a key element in the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) efforts to recognize and address long-standing patterns of under-investment in disadvantaged communities. The Initiative seeks to deliver resources to communities that have been disproportionately burdened by the adverse effects of climate change, pollution, and environmental hazards.

The Justice40 Initiative seeks to understand persistent gaps in infrastructure investment and public services and remedy disparities by working toward the goal that at least 40 percent of the benefits from many grants, programs, and initiatives will flow to disadvantaged communities. Through this Initiative, the USDOT will encourage the nation’s transportation agencies to plan and prioritize projects that will benefit rural, suburban, tribal, and urban communities facing barriers to affordable, equitable, reliable, and safe transportation.

USDOT has developed tools that practitioners and decision makers can use to become better informed on how their state or region’s communities may experience persistent disadvantages.  With this information at-hand, agencies are called upon to advance projects to address or mitigate the causes of these disadvantages and improve the conditions within these overlooked communities to promote livability and economic prosperity.

Equitable Transportation Community Explorer

The USDOT’s Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer, an interactive web application, explores the spatial patterns of cumulative burden experienced by communities. The ETC Explorer examines five components: Transportation Insecurity, Climate and Disaster Risk Burden, Environmental Burden, Health Vulnerability, and Social Vulnerability. See Table 1 for definitions of each of the underlying components.

Table 1. Definitions for the Disadvantage Components of ETC Explorer
Transportation InsecurityTransportation Insecurity occurs when people are unable to get to where they need to go to meet the needs of their daily life regularly, reliably, and safely.
Environmental BurdenThe Environmental Burden component of the index includes variables measuring factors such as pollution, hazardous facility exposure, water pollution and the built environment.
Social VulnerabilitySocial Vulnerability is a measure of socioeconomic indicators that have a direct impact on quality of life.
Health VulnerabilityThe Health Vulnerability category assesses the increased frequency of health conditions that may result from exposure to air, noise, and water pollution, as well as lifestyle factors such as poor walkability, car dependency, and long commute times.
Climate and Disaster Risk BurdenClimate and Disaster Risk Burden reflects sea level rise, changes in precipitation, extreme weather, and heat which pose risks to the transportation system.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation (2023).  Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer, ETC Explorer Technical Documentation.

These five components inform the development of a composite measure, the Disadvantaged Community Index, that defines census tracts as disadvantaged communities in the U.S. based on multiple dimensions of disadvantage. A score for each disadvantage component comprises several variables and information from several datasets. The index calculates cumulative disadvantage by normalizing the indicators associated with disadvantage, summing the percentile ranks of these indicators into components, and then summing the percentile ranks of the sums of each component to determine an overall score.

Figure 1 provides a graphical representation, including a list of the indicators for each component. The graphic shows how the indicators are used to inform each components score and how standardization techniques and percentile rankings are applied to derive a composite disadvantage score. USDOT considers census tracts to be “disadvantaged” if the overall index score places it in the 65th percentile (or higher) of all US census tracts.

Figure 1

The ETC Explorer Technical Documentation provides greater detail about how the data sources and methods were applied to create the individual indicators and standardize measures of disadvantage. The ETC Explorer relies upon an ArcGIS platform tool to observe spatial patterns and make comparisons at national, state, regional, and sub-state levels.  Additional information is provided on the methodological assumptions and limitations of developing a tool with these capabilities.

The ETC Explorer was designed to complement the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Climate & Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). USDOT’s tool looks more deeply at the “Transportation Disadvantage” component of the CEJST, and the ETC Explorer’s Transportation Insecurity component.  Both tools were developed to inform analyses and decision making to foster consideration of the transportation-related causes of disadvantage and how they can be remedied, in part, through future USDOT investments.

Past USDOT guidance noted that applicants for discretionary program funding have had the option of using CEJST or ETC Explorer when developing funding applications. State DOTs and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) can use the ETC Explorer in developing their Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs) and Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs). USDOT also expects to use ETC Explorer as a consideration in setting policy and making funding decisions. Reference to the tool and how it can be used to consider equity in grant application criteria can be found in recently issued NOFOs.

Justice40 Covered Programs

In August 2022, the White House issued guidance on the breadth of the Federal programs that would be covered by Justice40 Initiative including seven areas of Federal investments covered by the Initiative: climate change, clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and sustainable housing, training and workforce development, remediation and reduction of legacy pollution, and clean water and wastewater infrastructure. In this guidance, USDOT noted that 39 programs, across five modes, totaling more than $204 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, are covered by the Initiative. USDOT indicated that other programs might be added or removed from coverage under Justice40. Table 2 provides a list of USDOT programs covered by Justice40.

Table 2. Justice40 Covered Program List

The Justice40 Covered Program list included 39 covered programs within the U.S. Department of Transportation in August 2022.

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Carbon Reduction Program *
  • Charging & Fueling Infrastructure Grants*
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program *
  • Congestion Relief Program *
  • Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Supportive Services*
  • National Electric Vehicle Competitive Program*
  • National Electric Vehicle Formula Program*
  • Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects *
  • On the Job Supportive Services*
  • Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) (23 USC 176) *
  • Protect Grants (23 USC 176(d))*
  • Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities*
  • Transportation Alternatives (Surface Transportation Block Grant set-aside) *
  • Tribal High Priority Projects Program *
  • Tribal Transportation Facility Bridges (Bridge Investment Program set-aside) *
  • Tribal Transportation Facility Bridges (Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection and Construction set-aside) *
  • Tribal Transportation Program *
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
  • Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements *
  • Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail *
  • Railroad Crossing Elimination Program *
Federal Transportation Administration (FTA)
  • All Station Accessibility Program (ASAP) *
  • Buses and Bus Facilities Competitive Program*
  • Buses and Bus Facilities Program Formula *
  • Electric or Low-Emitting Ferry Program *
  • Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Grants (CIG) *
  • Low or No Emission Vehicle Program *
  • Passenger Ferry Grant Program*
  • Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Pilot Program *
  • Rural Transit Funding Programs (Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Competitive) *
  • Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning Program*
Maritime Administration (MARAD)
  • America’s Marine Highway Program *
  • Port Infrastructure Development Program *
Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST)
  • National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) *
  • Nationally Significant Multimodal Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA) *
  • Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) *
  • Reconnecting Communities Grant Program *
  • Safe Streets & Roads for All *
  • SMART (Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation)*
  • Thriving Communities Program

NJ Example Maps

The ETC Explorer offers an interactive dashboard to help users understand how a community or project area experiences transportation disadvantage compared to all other census tracts nationally or statewide across the various disadvantage components and forty indicators.   Popup databoxes provide more information on Transportation Insecurity for a selected census tract.

Below are examples of the statewide and local area outputs that can be quickly generated.

ETC Explorer Statewide Dashboard for New Jersey. The dashboard highlights that “Disadvantaged Census Tracts” comprise 17 percent of all the Census Tracts statewide and that 1.3 million persons live in these census tracts. In this example, Environmental Burdens are displayed and indicate that they are more prevalent in NJ than other components of disadvantage. Among the individual indicators of environmental burden that rank relatively highly and exceed the threshold for “disadvantage” are Diesel PM Levels, Hazardous Sites Proximity, and Impaired Surface Waters (see Figure 2A).

Figure 2A. ETC Explorer Dashboard for NJ
Figure 2C. DOT Disadvantage Census Tracts – State Results
Figure 2B. DOT Disadvantage Census Tracts – National Results

DOT Disadvantaged Census Tracts – National and State Results. The ETC Explorer can be used to display the DOT Disadvantaged Census Tracts based on a nationwide comparison (see Figure 2B) or on a statewide basis (see Figure 2C). The state results map shows additional areas that meet a disadvantaged threshold than are identified in the national results map. This is particularly useful for identifying the locations and spatial distribution of these highly-disadvantaged tracts in New Jersey.

Figure 2D. DOT Disadvantage Census Tracts, Percentile Ranked – State Results

Overall Disadvantage Percentile Ranked State Results. This statewide map shows percentile rankings of disadvantage by census tract for the three MPO regions (see Figure 2D). The gradient mapping display offers more information than the simpler binary designations.

Figure 2F. Climate & Disaster Risk Burden Percentile Ranked State Results
Figure 2E. Environmental Burden Percentile Ranked – State Results

Disadvantage Components, Percentile Ranked State Results. Data on the individual underlying components of disadvantage can be mapped to show the percentile rankings within the state. Examples of statewide maps displaying the census tracts that are more and less affected by Environmental Burden (Figure 2E) and Climate and Disaster Risk Burden (Figure 2F) are shown.

Figure 2G. DOT Disadvantage Census Tracts, Trenton Area, Percentile Ranked – State Results

Overall Disadvantage Percentile Ranked, State Results, Community Analysis Example. The ETC Explorer on the online ArcGIS platform permits analysis of sub-areas of the state. In Figure 2G, the City of Trenton and environs are examined for Overall Disadvantage in a percentile ranking map.

Figure 2H. Selected Census Tract, Trenton Area, Popup Databox

Transportation Insecurity Features. The ETC Explorer tool permits closer inspection of its various data elements. In Figure 2H, a small portion of a popup databox is shown for a selected census tract in Trenton that provides a snapshot of Transportation Insecurity indicators. When fully displayed, the popup databox displays summary and the underlying insecurity feature indicators for “Cost Burden,”  “Access Burden,” and “Safety.”

Justice40 is More than a Desktop Exercise

The ETC Explorer is an important tool for identifying the underlying components of disadvantage, but achieving the objectives of Justice40 will require more than desktop exercise. USDOT emphasizes that agencies and practitioners should be cognizant of the Three Major Components of DOT’s Justice40 Initiative as they work to plan, design, program, and deliver projects.  They include understanding:

  • The needs of a community through meaningful public engagement
  • How a community is affected by lack of transportation investments and options
  • What benefits a project may create, who will receive these benefits, and how these benefits will lessen the effects of the disadvantage of the community in question

Ongoing challenges exist in building capacity and preparing transportation agencies, eligible nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and affected communities for applying for and utilizing the project funding offered by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. In a recent research brief, the Urban Institute distilled observations from interviews with representatives from agencies and NGOs on their pressing needs and how to address the varying capacities of applicants to secure discretionary grant infrastructure funding. Among the topics covered, the interviews shared insights on the challenges of facilitating meaningful community engagement, contending within the application cycle, and managing relationships within the local ecosystem.

Recognizing the capacity challenges and moving toward a more equity-centric vision for project funding, USDOT established the Thriving Communities Program to provide planning, technical assistance, and capacity building support. The first round of funding awards, announced in April 2023, included funding for teams of Capacity Builders.

The City of East Orange, in partnership with the City of Orange Township and Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Inc. (HANDS), was among the communities awarded project funding for capacity building support. They hope to address key challenges and needs disproportionately borne by low-income and minority populations in both cities due to the construction of Interstate 280 and Freeway Drive in the 1960s that led to detrimental safety, economic development, livability, housing, connectivity, and mobility effects for the affected communities. They would like to enlist the capacity builders to “assist the cities in working with state and regional transportation partners to advance a set of improvements to bridges, roadways, and other transportation infrastructure.”

Similarly, USDOT established a Reconnecting Communities Institute (RCI) to deliver training and technical assistance to build organizational or community capacity in transportation planning and formulate innovative strategies for communities previously divided by transportation infrastructure. The BiL created a new $1 billion Reconnecting Communities Pilot Program (RCP), and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) created a similar $3.15 billion Neighborhood Access and Equity Program (NAEP) to fund projects that will retrofit, remove or remediate infrastructure that cause barriers and other harmful impacts that isolate and separate neighborhoods and communities. Both programs offer planning grants, capital grants, and technical assistance, and a combined Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) was recently issued. USDOT has indicated that enrollment into the RCI will be open to States, local and tribal governments, MPOs, and NGOs.  Disadvantaged communities are expected to be prioritized for enrollment in the RCI.


Axelrod, A., Boyd, C., Fu, S., Ramos, K., and Balakrishnan, C. (2022). Lessons from Local Leaders: How Federal Agencies Can Help Ensure Data-Driven and Equity-Centric Infrastructure Investments. Urban Institute. Accessed here: Link

Boutros, A., Resler, K., and Field, S. (2023). Integrating Equity into Transportation Funding and Project Prioritization. Public Roads – Spring 2023. Vol. 87 No. 1. Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-23-003. Accessed here: Link

U.S. Department of Transportation (2023). Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer, Website. Accessed here: Link

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2023). Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer, User Guide. Accessed here: Link

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2023). Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer, ETC Explorer Technical Documentation. Accessed here: Link

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2023). Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer National Results Dashboard. [Video], Accessed here: Equitable Transportation Community Explorer Video

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2023). Equitable Transportation Community (ETC) Explorer, User Guide. Accessed here: Link

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2023). FY 2022 Thriving Communities Program: Selected Capacity Builder Profiles. Access here: Link

U.S. Department of Transportation. (2023). Calculating Percentage of Population in Underserved Communities for SS4A. Access here: Link

Executive Office of the President. (January, 2021). Executive Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad. Accessed here: Link

Executive Office of the President. (August, 2022). Justice40 Initiative Covered Programs List. Accessed here: Link

Zhao, L., Huynh, N., and Hawkins, J. Framework for Quantifying Benefits to Disadvantaged Communities: Application to Nebraska’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Plan. Funded Project. Accessed here: Link.

What NEVI Means for EV Adoption in New Jersey

The State of New Jersey has committed to the widespread deployment of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging technologies in the pursuit of cleaner, less carbon intensive roadway travel.  With the establishment of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program (NEVI) in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BiL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), additional federal funding will be available to support New Jersey’s EV transition ambitions.

To receive NEVI Formula Program funds, states are required to develop an FHWA-approved EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan that describes how the state intends to use the funds in accordance with the NEVI Formula Program Guidance.  The State of New Jersey convened a multi-agency task force that included the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), NJ Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), the NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), among others (1), to meet the August 1, 2022 deadline for plan submission to the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation with FHWA approval expected by September 30, 2022.

Funding for EV Chargers

Having the highest number of registered electric cars on the road per public charging station of any state in the country, at a ratio of 46.16 (2), New Jersey stands to benefit greatly from NEVI’s formula funding for new EV charging stations.  In total, NJDOT will receive $104.4 million from the program over five years (3). This sum represents 2.51 percent of the $4.2 billion that USDOT expects to provide to all states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia through NEVI’s formula (3). For comparison, in 2020 New Jersey’s share of the total American population was roughly 2.8 percent (4), but critically, its share of land area is less than a fraction of a percent (5). Thus, in terms of EV charging infrastructure, the apportioned NEVI funding for New Jersey can ensure broader geographic coverage for its residents than may be possible for other less densely populated states.

Adoption of EV and Hybrid Electric Vehicles is growing exponentially in New Jersey as the technology and infrastructure continues to develop. Courtesy of NJ Department of Environmental Protection.
Adoption of EV and Hybrid Electric Vehicles is growing exponentially in New Jersey as the technology and infrastructure continues to develop. Courtesy of NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

NEVI’s provisions mandate that interstates and highways designated as alternative fuel corridors (AFCs) must have charging stations at intervals of 50 miles or less (and within 1 mile from the highway itself (6)).  In the most recent round of nominations, all of NJ’s interstate roadways were accepted and designated as AFCs by the FHWA, including: I-76, I-676, I-78, I-278, I-80, I-280, I-287, I-95, I-195, I-295, the Garden State Parkway, the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Atlantic City Expressway.  At a minimum, the charging stations must have the capability to simultaneously charge four vehicles at 150kW each.  The development of intercity EV infrastructure should expand the travel range and charging options for through-travelers and New Jerseyans who operate the State’s rapidly growing fleet of registered plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) which numbered 64,307 in 2021 (7).

Far more charging stations will be required in New Jersey should the State achieve its goal of 100 percent PEV sales by 2035.  By then, the EV vehicle fleet would reach 4.2 million registered EVs, or 73 percent of the estimated total of six million registered vehicles.  The NJ EV Plan estimates that between 1,600 and 5,600 additional publicly available fast charging sites will be required throughout the state to meet these registration levels (1).   

Beyond the $5 billion from NEVI, the program will establish the DOT-DOE Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to coordinate the shift in energy mixes for the nation’s transportation technology.  Courtesy of the Federal Highway Administration.
Beyond the $5 billion from NEVI, the program will establish the DOT-DOE Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to coordinate the shift in energy mixes for the nation’s transportation technology. Courtesy of the Federal Highway Administration.

Supplementing the NEVI Funding Formula program, the BiL sets aside discretionary funding through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Competitive Program to fill in gaps in publicly accessible EV charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling infrastructure along both designated alternative fuel corridors (50%) and in community locations (50%), such as parking facilities, public schools, public parks, or along public roads.  Under this program, USDOT will prioritize projects that expand access to charging and alternative fueling infrastructure within rural areas, low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and communities with limited parking space or a high ratio of multi-unit dwellings to single-family homes. Eligible entities include states, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, political subdivisions, and tribal governments.  NJ will be eligible to compete for these funds.

The NJ EV Plan establishes three phases for EV infrastructure development:

  • Phase 1 focuses on developing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) along the State's AFCs toward achieving "fully built out" status pursuant to the national NEVI program guidance.  Nominated corridors must be equipped with at least four, 150 kW chargers at least every 50 miles and located less than or equal to one mile from the corridor exit.
  • Phase 2 focuses on addressing DC fast chargers on New Jersey’s main corridors every 25 miles, as established by State law and recognizing NJ as the most densely populated state.  The State will incentivize the siting of charging stations at corridor interchanges to achieve the goal of EVSE chargers at a spacing of 25 and 50 miles. The 25-mile spacing provides opportunities to install one EVSE location at the intersection of two corridors and potentially serve both corridors which in some instances may save on installation costs.
  • Phase 3 implements EVSE flexibly in accordance with community needs which could include community-centric charging as well as fast charging hubs near multi-unit dwellings (MUD) and in disadvantaged and overburdened communities to enable electric ride sharing and ride hailing.

The NJ EV Plan emphasizes that each phase will involve planning, community outreach, stakeholder engagement and alignment with Justice40 initiatives.  While initial focus will be on Phase 1, the Plan allows for all phases to progress over the next five years (1).

NJ EV Deployment Plan is divided into three overlapping phases over the five-year plan:  Deployment of chargers between 50 and 25-mile spaces, addressing gaps in the network, and flexible implementation based on community needs. Courtesy of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
NJ EV Deployment Plan is divided into three overlapping phases over the five-year plan: Deployment of chargers between 50 and 25-mile spaces, addressing gaps in the network, and flexible implementation based on community needs. Courtesy of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The NJ EV Deployment Plan notes the establishment of its “Partnership to Plug In,” a multi-agency partnership formed to coordinate the broader statewide rollout of EVs.  Partnership to Plug In is co-led by NJBPU, NJDEP and NJEDA and “bolstered by support from Treasury, NJ TRANSIT and NJDOT” (1). NEVI formula funding will increase the support NJDOT can provide to the Partnership. The deployment plan frames NEVI as a stepping-stone towards NJ’s policy goals “of achieving 100% clean energy by 2050 and reducing State greenhouse gas emissions 80% below 2006 levels by 2050” (1).

The expansion of NJ’s EV infrastructure network is a complementary next step to the state’s tax incentives and rebate programs and model municipal ordinance initiative to encourage greater EV adoption. Given a $173,000 cost estimate per station, New Jersey’s share of NEVI funding alone is expected to provide enough for 600 charging stations (9). For comparison, the NJDEP estimates roughly 736 Public Charging Locations in NJ (10), illustrating the scale of the potential impact from formula funding.

Looking to place charging stations at a maximum 25 miles apart in applicable routes, twice the frequency required by NEVI, recent NJ state law signals its goal to remain a leading state for owning or operating an electric car (11). As established in the BiL, the State of New Jersey will share 20 percent of NEVI costs (8). The State government has already committed to requiring that 100 percent of state-owned, non-emergency light-duty vehicles be EVs by 2035 (12) and requiring at least 400 DC Fast Charger public stations by the end of 2025 (12).

The composition of public charging locations in New Jersey would benefit if NEVI provides more DC Fast Charging stations, as the majority of NJ locations only provide lesser voltage Level 1 and 2 chargers. Courtesy of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The composition of public charging locations in New Jersey would benefit if NEVI provides more DC Fast Charging stations, as the majority of NJ locations only provide lesser voltage Level 1 and 2 chargers. Courtesy of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Gasoline exhaust from personal and commercial vehicles can lead to areas closer to highways experiencing disproportionate exposure to harmful air pollutants. Courtesy of Ruben de Rijcke, Wikimedia Commons
Gasoline exhaust from personal and commercial vehicles can lead to areas closer to highways experiencing disproportionate exposure to harmful air pollutants. Courtesy of Ruben de Rijcke, Wikimedia Commons

Equity in Environment, Workforce, Mobility and Community Economic Development Considerations

Creating the charging infrastructure to ease the transition from fossil fuels to electric vehicles is a rational response to the global climate crisis. It is also an opportunity to advance equity and environmental justice through transportation investments. Subject to the Biden administration's Justice40 commitment to spend 40 percent of overall benefits of federal investments in climate and clean energy in disadvantaged communities (13), NEVI mandates placement of EV charging stations in the State’s affected disadvantaged communities to reduce the negative impacts of gasoline-based air pollutants.

The NJ EV Deployment Plan highlights the ways in which it is aligned with advancing the Justice40 commitment.  The Plan outlines the State’s existing laws, regulations, guidance, mapping tools and outreach processes that it has employed, and expects to continue to employ, to deliver equitable transportation benefits and combat the health stressors borne by individuals living near highways and facilities from exposure to tail-pipe exhaust from conventional fuels.  The Plan highlights equity, workforce development, mobility needs, and community benefit commitments and considerations.  Emphasis is placed on continuing outreach and dialogue processes, through successive deployment phases, working with community leaders and labor organizations, chambers of commerce, community colleges, technical schools, universities, training organizations, and industry to ensure that the deployment, installation, operation, and use of EV charging infrastructure achieves equitable and fair distribution of benefits and services.

Deploying Transformative Public Investment to Meet a Global, National and State Challenge

The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 serves as a reminder of the transformative impact of large-scale federal public infrastructure investment. The bill created a 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense" which accelerated the nation’s reliance on the personal automobile and commercial trucks for goods movement distribution and profoundly shaped our patterns of living today. Today our challenge is no longer building out the interstate system, but rather retrofitting our roadway systems and land use design to ensure a sufficient supply of EV charging stations. For this era, the aspirational vision for the NEVI program is to build a clean transportation network capable of ensuring reliable regional travel and supportive of carbon emission reduction goals to mitigate climate change impacts.

With its reported national budget of $5 billion (8), the NEVI program makes a critical national investment toward a future where the nation’s EV drivers will increasingly have the confidence to drive down any interstate, knowing charging stations will be waiting for them; non-EV drivers will likewise have fewer “range anxiety” concerns should this be a limiting factor in making the transition to operating a plug-in electric vehicle.

The NEVI program's support will help keep the State’s economy and transportation competitive by complementing its advancements and goals in the EV market. Rewarding New Jersey’s innovation and commitments in encouraging the adoption of new EVs on its road, NEVI’s role in building out charging stations to service EVs will ultimately serve the State well. Increasing the reliability of New Jersey EV network will result in reductions in diesel and carbon emissions from automobiles, thereby protecting the environment, health, and pocketbooks of New Jerseyans.


(1) New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (2022, August 1). New Jersey National Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Deployment Plan. https://www.nj.gov/dep/drivegreen/pdf/nevi.pdf

(2) Vermont Biz. (2022, May 12). Vermont is the ninth most accessible state in America to charge an electric car. https://vermontbiz.com/news/2022/may/12/vermont-ninth-most-accessible-state-america-charge-electric-car.

(3) U.S. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. (2022, February 10). 5-year National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Funding by State. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/evs_5year_nevi_funding_by_state.cfm.

(4) Iowa State University. (2022). Decennial Census Population Counts for States. https://www.icip.iastate.edu/tables/population/census-states

(5) United States Census Bureau. (2021, December 16). State Area Measurements and Internal Point Coordinates. https://www.census.gov/geographies/reference-files/2010/geo/state-area.html.

(6) Foley and Lardner LLP. (2022, February 24). U.S. DOT Releases NEVI Formula Program Guidance, Giving Public and Private Stakeholders a Roadmap for EV Infrastructure Funding. https://www.foley.com/en/insights/publications/2022/02/us-dot-releases-nevi-formula-program-guidance

(7) New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (2022). Drive Green Electric Vehicles Basics. https://nj.gov/dep/drivegreen/dg-electric-vehicles-basics.html

(8) U.S. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. (2022, February 10). National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bipartisan-infrastructure-law/nevi_formula_program.cfm.

(9) NJ.com. (2022, February 11). Feds sending $15M to N.J. to build electric car charging stations. https://www.nj.com/politics/2022/02/feds-sending-15m-to-nj-to-build-electric-car-charging-stations.html.

(10) New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. (2022). NJ Public Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Locator. https://njdep.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=e41aa50dd8cd45faba8641b6be6097b1.

(11) Quartz. (2022, May 14). If you want to buy an EV, New Jersey is the place to be. https://qz.com/2165644/the-cheapest-states-in-the-us-to-buy-an-ev/.

(12) Alternative Fuels Data Center, U.S. Department of Energy. (2022). New Jersey Laws and Incentives. https://afdc.energy.gov/laws/all?state=NJ.

(13) U.S. Department of Transportation. (2022, July 8). Justice40 Initiative. https://www.transportation.gov/equity-Justice40.