Ask Renewable Rayna: What programs and incentives are available to Arkansas when Funding EV Charging

rayna letter head (3).png

Customers, car dealers, and manufacturers face obstacles in the acceptance of electric vehicles, despite their growing popularity. What is the primary cause of these obstacles? In Arkansas and throughout the United States, there is a shortage of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure

Helping to meet these challenges, there are many programs and incentives available, and in the works, to boost EV infrastructure and increase the number of EVs on the road, and Renewable Rayna is here to outline them all.

The first example was announced in the pandemic relief bill for 2020. Though the tax incentives for electric vehicles were not extended in this bill, it did provide financial assistance for those who install electric vehicle charging stations. Congress passed a retroactive federal tax credit for EV charging infrastructure costs. The tax credit, which enables station owners to claim a federal tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of buying and building an electric vehicle charging station, has been extended and is now set to expire on December 31, 2021.

Also in response to improving electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the state, the Arkansas Division of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) recently launched a program in February of 202, which is being financed by settlement funds from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries. Through this program, government, private, and non-profit organizations, can qualify for a rebate for the installation of a level 2 electric vehicle charger, making it available to the public to #getcharged while on the go whereas the ADEQ would implement a funding assistance program for the installation of new EV charging stations.

Despite the fact that the division program has worked to boost Arkansas’ electric vehicle infrastructure and that you may be eligible for a 30% tax credit up to $30,000 for installing public chargers, the state still ranks last in the country for EV charging infrastructure.

State Senator Mark Johnson, who owns an electric vehicle, recently told the Joint Energy Committee that maps in his electric car’s navigation system avoid moving through Arkansas due to the lack of electric vehicle charging stations, acknowledging that the industry is expanding and that tourists are looking for them in Arkansas, where charging stations are scarce.

However, as part of President Biden’s climate plan, which calls for “accelerating deployment” of electric vehicles, he promises to “restore the full electric vehicle tax credit to incentivize the purchase of these vehicles,” as well as work to ensure that the credit is targeted to support middle-class buyers and American electric vehicle manufacturers.

He also has promised 500,000 new electric-vehicle charging stations.

And now, with the possibility of an even larger federal infrastructure program on the horizon, Senator Johnson said the state needed to be ready to accept support for the construction of electric vehicle infrastructure.

SB632 is a bill introduced by Senator Johnson was approved by the Joint Energy Committee and the Senate on April 13th, 2021. It was designed to provide a mechanism that will make it easier for the state to secure potential federal funds to build infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

Referred to as a “catcher’s mitt” for any possible federal funding the state could receive for infrastructure projects, Rep. Aaron Pilkington said, “The money may be coming, and Arkansas should take advantage of it.”