GRA wrote: "...I particularly like these sections of the spec: ...
Authors seem to have learned from the disappointing experience of other public/private partnerships (DoE/Blink). I hope these RFAs produce the intended results. Since buying access to Tesla's Supercharger network seems unlikely, these partnerships are the short term hope for expansion of public charging infrastructure.
I agree, the RFA does look like they've taken note of all the factors that have led to delays and failures of other public grant charging network station buildouts (and maybe H2 stations as well) over the past 7 years, and done everything they can to avoid repeating those errors. Planning timelines, monthly reporting requirements during construction noting and explaining any delays, their cause and what steps are being taken to get back on schedule, maintenance plan requirements extending out five years with quarterly reports once the stations are open, only providing part payment per station until the entire corridor is open, ownership reverts to the state if the company goes out of business during the term, etc. It looks like a much more mature process than has been the case previously.
Of course, that doesn't guarantee that they'll have bidders for every corridor or that no delays will occur, but it appears to me to be about as tightly designed as such efforts can be. The one final piece is we've got to hope that the prices to charge are competitive with liquid fuels, so that the stations will be used. That will be assessed and weighted in the business model section of the application, and the equipment spec does require that payment allows for flexible pricing, by minute, hour, kWh and TOD.