The requirement of procuring domestic construction materials that will be used to build electric vehicle chargers is temporarily relaxed, as the Buy America restrictions have been waived by the Federal Highway Administration until July 2024. According to the announcement, all EV chargers produced by July 1, 2024, whose final assembly takes place in the United States, and whose installation has started by October 1, 2024, will be covered by this waiver.
As Transport Topics has reported:
“While FHWA acknowledges that some EV charger manufacturers may not be able to produce compliant chargers within the time frame set out in this waiver, FHWA believes that delaying the phases of this waiver to account for such manufacturers goes against the purpose of Buy America requirements and the administration’s goals of realizing American production of EV chargers,” the agency said.
But some commenters noted that there may be a significant difference in time between when a charging product is manufactured and when it is installed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as permitting delays, supply chain constraints, utility interconnection delays, delivery delays, prolonged adverse weather, potential workforce shortages, and routine certification and quality checks that commercial operators perform on industrial products before putting them into service.
“Such circumstances could result in EV chargers being manufactured during one phase of the proposed waiver (and consistent with the requirements in place during that phase) and installed in another, resulting in those chargers no longer being covered by this waiver and risking them not being Buy America-compliant,” commenters warned.