Neilson asks PennDOT about EV charging station contracts during final week of budget hearings

Inquires about compliance with training and wage requirements

State Rep. Ed Neilson, majority chair of the House Transportation Committee, asked the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation yesterday about the department’s compliance with federal regulations regarding the maintenance of electric vehicle charging stations across Pennsylvania, during the final week of budget hearings.  

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program was created by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Under NEVI, Pennsylvania will receive $171.5 million in federal funding over five years to help make EV charging more accessible to all Americans for local and long-distance trips. As of this writing, PennDOT has announced $34.1 million for the first round of NEVI funding. The application period for the next round closed on January 26, 2024.

NEVI requires that maintenance on electric vehicle charging stations only be performed by qualified electricians who have passed the requirements to work, and that they follow prevailing wage laws and Davis-Bacon laws.

Neilson questioned Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Mike Caroll about how PennDOT verifies that the projects are awarded within compliance of NEVI to ensure worker and consumer safety, as well as proper spending of taxpayer money.

“There are state-approved apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania that meet the minimum requirements to install EV charging stations and incorporate the training program designed by the federal government to keep both workers and consumers safe,” Neilson said.

Caroll responded that while NEVI is a new program, there is rigorous oversight from PennDOT over the contracts awarded to ensure they are in full compliance with the federal regulations.

Pennsylvania currently does not require that electricians be licensed to work, but Neilson has repeatedly introduced legislation that would require all electricians in Pennsylvania to be licensed.