Six major utilities have announced a plan to ensure that electric vehicle (EV) drivers have access to a seamless network of charging stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast through the Midwest and South and into the Gulf Coast and Central Plains regions.
The Electric Highway Coalition is made up of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corp., Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The coalition's plan will enable EV drivers seamless travel across major regions of the country through a network of direct current (dc) fast chargers for EVs. The companies are each taking steps to provide EV charging solutions within their service territories.
This represents an unprecedented effort to offer EV drivers convenient charging options across different company service territories and allow EV travel without interruption.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on U.S. roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, such as the ease of low-cost home charging, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. With efforts like the Electric Highway Coalition, electric companies are demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for driving around town as well as traveling long distances.
This effort will provide drivers with effective, efficient, and convenient charging options that enable long-distance electric travel. Sites along major highway routes — with easy highway access and amenities for travelers — are being considered as coalition members work to determine final charging station locations. Charging stations will provide dc fast chargers that can get drivers back on the road in approximately 20 to 30 mins.
"At Entergy, we are taking an integrated approach toward a carbon-free future that includes working with industry peers and customers to electrify other sectors of the economy like transportation and the maritime industry,” said Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy Corp. "Initiatives like this proposed regional EV charging corridor will help lower transportation emissions and provide community benefits for all our stakeholders."
Entergy recently invested in more than 40 strategically-located charging stations to be used by its growing EV fleet, which allows for nearly 90 vehicles to charge simultaneously. Starting in 2023, Entergy's fleet plan for all passenger vehicles, fork-lifts, pallet jacks, and so forth will be all-electric where readily available from the manufacturer. The company also aims to power 80% of its aerial units by electricity by 2031.
The Electric Highway Coalition has welcomed interested utilities to join as it seeks to extend the reach of the network.