We’ve been jealous of Europe’s burgeoning electric car charging infrastructure for a while now but the U.S. is finally getting some of that sweet, sweet infrastructure of our own with six American utilities across the South and the Midwest announcing a new EV charging network called the Electric Highway Coalition.
The following American energy companies are banding together to develop this new network:
- American Electric Power
- Dominion Energy
- Duke Energy
- Entergy Corporation
- Southern Company
- Tennessee Valley Authority
The network will stretch across 16 states and connect “major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast, through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf and Central Plains regions,” as outlined in a statement from American Electric Power (AEP), which happens to be one of the U.S’s largest electric companies.
Just look at this glorious (proposed) swath of EV charging:
See that little dot in South Texas that reads Harlingen? That town is just a ways East of me. I am beyond stoked to see EV infrastructure make its way to the area I live in, which I feel is overlooked when it comes to keeping up with, really, any modern development from broadband and telecomm to EV charging stations. Though, this is a problem for many drivers which is what this coalition seems to be addressing.
It’s also welcome news considering the U.S. infrastructure is not all that great in general. So, this could address our lack of infrastructure while updating it for the big EV push we keep hearing about from the Biden administration.
So far one of the more robust charging networks belongs to Tesla, and it’s somewhat of an indictment that a private company could deliver on the promises of infrastructure quickly and more efficiently than major utilities. Now, it seems like the American energy sector is serious about catching up to Tesla and that is fantastic for both current and future EV drivers.
I can only hope that the proposed network is more resilient than current utilities in the state of Texas which are not having the best time right now. But given that it is a multi-state proposal it’s likely that things will be standardized. That ought to produce a robust network.
The AEP announcement elaborated on the plan and mentioned another detail about the network I found encouraging:
The Electric Highway Coalition [...] announced a plan to enable EV drivers seamless travel across major regions of the country through a network of 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 convenient EV charging options across different company territories and allow EV travel without interruption.
There will be fast chargers! And in another statement from Entergy, the proposed “charging stations will provide DC fast chargers that can get drivers back on the road in approximately 20 to 30 minutes.”
I don’t know what your pit stops are like, but anytime I’m on the road longer than a couple of hours, a 20 to 30 minute rest window is a welcome break. I’m sure that timeframe is more of a best-case scenario, depending on how many chargers are open at the time but the projected charge-times are enticing and should not be a major point against EV ownership.
For drivers who live within this proposed network, the argument for EV ownership just got a lot stronger.