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US Power Companies Plan Coast-to-Coast EV Charging Networks

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It is a widely accepted fact that the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) will help reduce carbon emissions significantly as we fight climate change, but there are still hurdles to overcome before they are fully adopted. One of the biggest hurdles to the full adoption of electric vehicles is the lack of charging infrastructure across the U.S. Now, more than 50 power companies in the U.S. have joined forces to create the National Electric Highway Coalition, which plans to build a coast-to-coast fast charging network by the end of 2023.

The Edison Electric Institute has announced the formation of the National Electric Highway Coalition, which includes 50 EEI members, Midwest Energy Inc., and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Each member of the coalition has committed to building a network of fast charging stations. The coalition hasn’t announced how many chargers it will add, but its first goal is to grow the EV charging infrastructure along with the Interstate Highway System.

“EEI and our member companies are leading the clean energy transformation, and electric transportation is key to reducing carbon emissions across our economy,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn in a statement. “With the formation of the National Electric Highway Coalition, we are committed to investing in and providing the charging infrastructure necessary to facilitate electric vehicle growth and to help alleviate any remaining customer range anxiety.”

To date, EEI’s member companies have invested more than $3 billion in projects to improve the EV charging infrastructure. EEI estimates that the U.S. will need more than 100,000 EV fast charging ports to support the projected 22 million EVs that will be on the road in 2030. It’s expected the first chargers will pop up in the midwest and intermountain west, which currently lack a significant number of DC fast chargers. The influx of new DC fast chargers across the major U.S. travel corridors will help accelerate the adoption of EVs.

“By merging and expanding the existing efforts underway to build fast charging infrastructure along major travel corridors, we are building a foundational EV charging network that will help to encourage more customers to purchase an electric vehicle,” said Kuhn.

In addition to the investments from electric companies, the federal government has also announced that it is making big investments in EV chargers. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill signed by President Biden will include $7.5 billion in federal funding for charging networks. Biden’s plan includes a goal of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030 when the administration hopes that electric vehicles will account for half of all vehicle sales.

“The auto industry is committed to vehicle electrification and will invest over $330 billion in the technology by 2025. Additionally, a record number of EV models are expected to be available in this time frame,” said Alliance for Automotive Innovation President and CEO John Bozzella in a statement. “This, however, is only one piece of the puzzle. Addressing issues such as grid resiliency, energy demands for charging, and equitable rollout of charging infrastructure will be an integral part of a successful future for EVs in America.”

With nearly every major automaker announcing plans to convert their lineups to fully electric vehicles, the EV charging network needs to be improved significantly. This latest announcement by the Edison Electric Institute is just one more step to furthering the adoption of EVs.



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