CFI Application Outline: Community

About This Resource

Expert policy analysts at the Electrification Coalition created this comprehensive outline to help those seeking CFI Community funding put together successful applications. 

The elements included in this outline are based on the official guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and on applications that received funding during the first round of awards. Elements marked as “optional” are not officially required for an application to be considered complete, but were consistently observed in the applications for projects that were ultimately selected to receive funding. 

Please note that this outline is comprehensive as of April 2024, and will be updated upon the release of additional information for future CFI funding rounds.  

Download this outline as a PDF.

For more information about CFI, visit the EC’s CFI Tools & Resources Hub.

If you have any specific questions or are in need of additional support, our organization can provide individualized guidance, tailored resources, and guided community engagement activities. Contact us at


Executive Summary (Optional)

While not required, many successful applicants included an executive summary highlighting the key points of their project in a concise way. 

Project Narrative

A description of the project that introduces the geographic area, the current state of infrastructure, and how funding would be allocated to meet the needs of the community. In this section, there are specific touch points from FHWA that must be introduced. 

  1. Geographical project location details 
    • Map of the project’s location and connections to existing transportation infrastructure 
    • Geospatial data of project location 
    • Traffic safety considerations
      • Must mitigate safety risks introduced by the project 
      • Must not negatively impact the overall safety of the traveling public 
      • Must discuss National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) and how project will support goal of achieving zero roadway deaths through a Safe System Approach 
      • Must discuss Americans with Disability Act 
        • Additionally discuss Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) (optional) 
  1. Description of community-based infrastructure/how project will equitably fill gaps in publicly available EV charging infrastructure 
  2. Description of how funds will be spent on project, with estimated percentages of funding distribution 
    • Detail each of the following costs, including which entity is responsible for them (and operation subsidies that will be sought or obtained, if applicable)
      • Project planning and development costs
      • Right-of-way acquisition costs 
      • Installation/operation/maintenance costs 
      • Educational activity costs
  1. Additional Project Narrative Focus Areas (must address one; however, applicants are encouraged to address more than one) 
    • Multi-Modal Hubs and Shared-Use Fleets 
    • Urban/Suburban Area Charging and Fueling Solutions 
    • Rural Area Charging and Fueling Solutions 
    • Fleet Vehicles that Serve and Operate in Communities 
  2. Statutory Selection Priorities (must address one; however, applicants are encouraged to address more than one) 
    • Projects that expand EV charging in rural areas 
    • Projects that expand EV charging in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods 
    • Projects that expand EV charging in areas with a low ratio of private parking spaces to households or a high ratio of multiunit dwellings to single-family homes 
  3. Additional Project Narrative touchpoints 
    • Use innovative payment approaches to ensure accessibility to diverse populations, including unbanked and underbanked communities 
    • Address the eligibility of the project 
    • Address the eligibility of the project costs
    • Assess the Merit Criteria 
    • Provide directly verifiable data and documentation 
    • Indicate whether you are seeking other DOT discretionary opportunities 
    • Dig-once 

Budget Information

More information on the amount of funding requested, the distribution of funding, and special forms are included here. 

  1. Present data in dollars and percentages 
  2. Identify intent to use other funds
    • CFI Program 
    • Other federal funds 
    • Non-federal funds
  3. Mandatory forms (included in package and not needed in application) 
    • Standard Form 424 (A&B or C&D) 
      • Include budget narrative explaining each element of cost 
    • Lobbying Form 
    • Project Abstract Summary 
    • Key contacts (optional) 

Project Merit Criteria 

Specific focus areas from the NOFO regarding safety, equity, resilience, workforce development and more must be elaborated on in this section. 

  1. Safety (for highly qualified rating) 
    • Must result in positive safety benefits for all users 
    • Must mitigate any significant safety risks that could result after the project’s completion 
    • Must promote safety through design 
  2. Climate Change, Resilience, and Sustainability (for highly qualified rating) 
    • Must address climate change/resilience/environmental justice in project planning and delivery 
    • Must significantly reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector 
    • Must incorporate evidence-based climate resilience measures 
      • Address Federal Flood Risk Mitigation Standard 
    • Must take measures to avoid adverse environmental impacts
      • Address disproportionate negative impacts of climate change in disadvantaged communities
        • Natural disaster prevention, response, and recovery
  1. Equity, Community Engagement, and EJ40 (for highly qualified rating)
    • Must include an equity analysis evaluating social impacts and transportation-related disparities between communities 
      • Use EV Charging Justice40 Map 
    • Must facilitate meaningful public engagement that benefits environmental justice areas 
    • Must address quality of life/safety/climate change/economic development 
    • Must enable the efficient and easy use of multimodal transportation networks
    • Must enable use by rural and tribal communities in a manner consistent with DOT’s Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES).  
      • If not, indicate why this is not relevant to your application 
    • Must promote economic development/revitalization/improvement  
  1. Workforce Development, Job Quality, and Wealth Creation (for highly qualified rating) 
    • Must create good-paying jobs, allow for free and fair choice to join a union, and expand strong labor standards 
    • Must promote high-quality workforce development programs with a focus on women, people of color, and other underrepresented populations 
    • Must utilize hiring policies that promote and retain underrepresented populations 
    • Must promote the development of disadvantaged business enterprises, minority-owned businesses, and/or women-owned businesses 
  1. CFI Program Vision (for highly qualified rating) 
    • Must equitably expand deployment of EVSE in publicly accessible locations for use by the community 
    • Must address additional project narrative focus areas 
      • Multi-Modal Hubs and Shared-Use Fleets 
      • Urban/Suburban Area Charging and Fueling Solutions 
      • Rural Area Charging and Fueling Solutions 
      • Fleet Vehicles that Serve and Operate in Communities 

Note: the DOT will prioritize Highly Recommended Projects that demonstrate exceptional benefits to Merit Criteria #3, #4, and #5

Project Readiness and Environmental Risk 

This section serves as an evaluation and demonstration of whether the project is reasonably expected to begin in a timely manner. The FHWA emphasizes the importance of projects that can be implemented quickly. 

  1. Detailed statement of work, focused on technical/engineering aspects of the project 
  2. Discussion of energy source and storage needs
  3. Assessment of property and ROW acquisition necessary for the project
  4. Inclusion of project in relevant state, metropolitan, and/or local planning document
    • e.g. a metro transportation plan, transportation improvement program, statewide transportation improvement program, etc.
  5. Project approvals already obtained
  6. Discussion of project risks and how they will be addressed 
  7. Evidence of coordination or public engagement that has been completed or is ongoing
  8. Discussion of intention for disadvantaged business enterprises’ participation or engagement
  9. Discussion of equity and accessibility requirements
  10. Intended project timeline, including defined milestones (i.e. a Gantt Chart)
  11. Discussion of Title 23 CFR Part 680 requirements
  12. Further demonstration of project readiness as needed
  13. Discussion of the environmental impacts of the project
    • NEPA reviews or permits needed or completed 

Additional Considerations 

Important selection criteria that does not fit into the previous categories, but will improve your application.

  1. Contributes to geographic diversity between urban and rural communities
  2. Meets current or anticipated market demands
    •  Faster charging speeds
    • High-powered capabilities to minimize need for refueling current and anticipated vehicles

Appendix (Optional) 

An optional section to include letters of support, additional figures, and other items that you feel will strengthen your application. 

  1. Letters of support
  2. Supplemental figures, graphs, and data to support your application

Amy Malaki

Amy Malaki is the Director of Partnerships and Policy at SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas, pioneering global leaders in sustainable aviation fuel production and supply. Prior to SkyNRG, Amy was the Associate Director for the transportation portfolio at the ClimateWorks Foundation where she developed philanthropic investment strategies to advance a sustainable, equitable and low-carbon mobility system. She also pioneered the organization’s international aviation decarbonization strategy. Prior to that she focused on Asia business development at Better Place, a Silicon Valley electric vehicle network startup. She has a B.A. in Chinese and China studies from the University of Washington and an M.A. in international policy studies (energy and environment) from Stanford University.