The DEMD’s efforts in support of the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) Economic Development, Energy, and Infrastructure Committee 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit: National Electric Vehicle (EV) Initiative (NEVI) for Tribal Nations. 

The NEVI program was established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to provide funding to States to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and to establish an interconnected network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability.   

The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was created to facilitate collaboration between the DOE and the DOT.  The Joint Office provides expertise and resources to implement the NEVI program.  

The DOI and DOT are expected to map Tribal Nations within NEVI’s geographic constraints and assist the GSA in providing a map of all federal facilities and federal occupants in Indian Country under its jurisdiction. 

Key Messages 

Summary information 

  • DEMD Efforts to Date 

    • Mapping of the reservations was completed. 
      The Branch of Geotechnical Data Services has downloaded the most current Alternative fuels data that is available and processed the data for use in electric vehicle thematic maps. As well as reviewing data from multiple sources to have the most effective data available. The data group has created 13 electric vehicle thematic maps by BIA regions and the whole United States. The data that is included in the maps is listed below.  

      • Alternative Fueling Corridors 

      • Status of fueling corridors

      • Signage pending

      • Signage ready

      • Interstates, Highways

      • Electric vehicle charging stations within 50 miles of Tribal lands 

      • Intersects of charging stations 

      • Tribal land area Representations 

      • BIA Regions 

      • BIA regional offices 

    • stylized map of 12 BIA RegionsThe supplemental mapping information created by DEMD includes 12 electric vehicle corridor maps for each BIA Region, along with a 13th National map.  These maps used the most current Alternative Fuel Corridor (AFC) dataset provide by Department of Transportation, and demonstrates AFC status and intersections with Tribal lands. This also includes a complementary spreadsheet has been developed that lists the information shown in the maps, indicating the status of AFC with respect to each reservation.  This spreadsheet can be used to identify Tribes that are in proximity to signage pending AFC.  These Tribes have the most opportunity to develop EV infrastructure within the geographical constraints of the NEVI program, and it will be important they are informed of their opportunity to participate.

    • For Tribe’s that do not intersect with AFC, there are two important considerations for outreach. First, information will need to be provided for how they can participate in the AFC nomination process alongside respective States.  Many Tribes do not intersect with currently defined AFC.  Second, information will need to be provided for how these tribes can participate in the discretionary grant programs that are not tied to AFC.

    • The EV Initiative is being emphasized in the renewable energy grant awards by encouraging the Tribes to include additional generation and fuel capacity for powering EV’s and other alternative fuel vehicles.

    • Cost estimates were gathered for the installation of EV charging stations. Preliminary economics for battery electric buses, hydrogen fuel cell buses, propane buses were compiled.  A hydrogen supply chain analysis is underway with a focus on business opportunities for the Tribes.

    • Penobscot Nation in Maine and Optimal Power Solutions are partnering to build a battery manufacturing facility on Tribal lands.  They were referred to the DOE Office of Indian Energy for funding and technical assistance because of the project stage of development.

    • State EV Initiative programs were compiled.

    • Fort Independence
      The Tribe’s Reservation is bisected by U.S. Hwy 395, connecting midsize communities and large metropolitan cities such Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Reno NV to major tourist destinations in Eastern California. U.S. Hwy 395 is designated as an Alternative Fuel Corridor that will be the spine of the new national EV charging network.   The Tribe has reserved a two-acre parcel for EV Charging Stations contiguous to the Tribe’s new 12-acre Truck Stop and Travel Center (completion 2023) and the Tribe’s 7-acre Oak Creek Community Park (completion 2024).  This work is incorporated into the Tribes' 2022 TEDC grant for the development of the Tribal Utility Authority Feasibility Study, which will guide the Tribe in developing this revenue stream.

    • Tribal Outreach Contact List Created

  • Strategic Plan Going Forward 

    • Include an EV Initiative page on the DEMD website listing the organizations that are providing technical assistance and funding for EV projects. 

    • Prioritize Tribes to Contact using State programs with the highest incentives and the proximity of the Tribe to a corridor. 

    • Communicate the DOT/FHA Round 7/2023 Request for Nominations for State and local officials to nominate Alternative Fuel Corridors (AFC) for designation.  The deadline for this solicitation is COB June 21, 2023. If possible, FHWA encourages nominations to be submitted earlier than the due date

    • Action Item: Online dashboard story map of NEVI-Tribal intersection map 


Historical and contextual narrative – details 

  • On November 30, 2022 the Biden Harris Administration Announces New Actions to Support Indian Country and Native Communities Ahead of the Administration’s Second Tribal Nations Summit.  One of the actions is the EV Initiative for Tribal Nations.  Ten federal agencies, including DOT, DOE, DOI, DOL, ED, EPA, HHS,HUD, GSA, and USDA, coordinated through WHCNAA, are supporting this effort, which will include: mapping the proposed deployment of EV infrastructure; prioritizing projects that serve rural and underserved areas, including Tribal lands and communities; providing technical assistance to take advantage of funding opportunities; prioritizing Tribal, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)-funded, and other schools on Indian lands for replacing diesel school buses with low or zero emission school buses within EPA’s Clean School Bus Program; providing assistance to Tribes for the purchase or lease of EV fleet vehicles; consulting with Tribes to consider updates to the state certification process to improve Tribal input into state plans; releasing a new Toolkit that will provide Tribes the information they need to start planning and implementing EV infrastructure projects; expanding training, teaching, and employment opportunities for Tribal members within the EV market; and supporting Tribal Nations’ roles in the EV battery supply chain. 

  • The WHCNAA outlines specific agency commitments to provide design and implementation consultation to Tribes.  The initiative will require agencies to map the proposed deployment of infrastructure, provide technical assistance to access that funding, support training and certification of workers installing EV supply equipment, and consult with Tribes and engage other stakeholders throughout the process.

    Participating agencies make the additional following commitments:

    • DOI and DOT will map Tribal Nations within NEVI’s geographic constraints. Using this data, agencies will consult with Tribes on how to deploy infrastructure for Tribes within those statutory, geographic constraints.

    • GSA, with assistance from DOI and HHS, will provide a map of all federal facilities and federal occupants in Indian Country under its jurisdiction. Using this data, all participating agencies will consult with Tribes on how FAST Act authority may be used to install, operate, and maintain EV charging stations within those facilities in Indian Country and Native communities.

    • In accordance with Executive Order 13175 and the Presidential Memorandum of January 26, 2021 (Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships), the participating agencies shall conduct timely consultations with Tribal Nations to obtain their comments and recommendations regarding implementation of this initiative. Tribal consultation and engagement shall continue as the strategies outlined by this initiative are developed and implemented.  

Point of Contact   

Albert Bond / / (720) 484-3333