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article imageSix utilities collaborating to build 16-state EV charging network

By Karen Graham     Mar 6, 2021 in Business
Six major utilities on Tuesday announced a plan to provide electric vehicle (EV) drivers with a "seamless network" of direct current fast charging (DCFC) stations connecting major highways in the South, Midwest, Gulf, and Central Plains regions.
The newly-formed Electric Highway Coalition is made up of six big regional utilities—American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, Southern Company, and Tennessee Valley Authority, according to Earther-Gizmodo.
According to an industry press release, the six utilities said they will be working together to “provide EV charging solutions within their service territories. This represents an unprecedented effort to offer convenient EV charging options across different company territories and allow EV travel without interruption."
A map provided in the press release shows the projected area of the network that covers nearly 16 states, with highways stretching from Texas to Florida up to Virginia and over to Indiana.
The Electric Highway Coalition map showing the projected area of the network.
The Electric Highway Coalition map showing the projected area of the network.
American Electric Power
EV infrastructure for the Transportation sector
The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), accounting for 28.2 percent of emissions in 2018.
With government support of green technologies growing, it is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 18 million EVs on U.S. roads. The consulting firm Frost & Sullivan says it expects the EV market to "register a nearly five-fold growth, reaching almost 7 million unit sales by 2025 [up] from 1.4 million unit sales in 2020."
The I-75 / I-85 Downtown Connector in Atlanta  Georgia. Keeping infrastructure in top condition is n...
The I-75 / I-85 Downtown Connector in Atlanta, Georgia. Keeping infrastructure in top condition is necessary to maintain economic growth.
AtlantaCitizen (CC BY-SA 3.0)
It is believed that electrifying the transportation sector starting right now is a major opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through increased efficiency and renewable-generated electricity. A network of EV charging stations will also relieve the "range anxiety" - the fear of running out of battery power without being able to reach a convenient charging station - that has held back many people from buying an EV.
"The path to cleaner transportation is a robust charging infrastructure along the nation’s major highways," Lang Reynolds, director of electrification strategy for Duke Energy, said in a statement, per Utility Dive. The new EV coalition aims to address range anxiety as a barrier to EV adoption, he said.
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