On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced it would establish 48 national electric-vehicle (EV) charging networks on almost 25,000 miles of highway in 35 states.
The White House added that 28 states utilities, vehicle manufacturers, and organizations have agreed to collaborate on deploying additional charging stations on designated corridors that were mandated by a 2015 highway law.
As part of the announcement, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) debuted new curbside signs to assist motorists in locating charging stations. The Obama Administration said drivers should expect either current or planned charging stations within every 50 miles.
Setting up for the future
Furthermore, the Department of Energy will conduct two analyses in regards to the expansion of EV charging stations. One will determine the best ways to set up charging stations at a national level, and the other will help outline “best practices” for putting in faster charging stations, which reduce charging time significantly as opposed to the more typical “Level 1” and “Level 2” chargers. The developments are a result of the groundwork laid this summer at the Department of Energy’s first-ever Sustainable Transportation Summit, which included a $4.5 billion loan program designed to stimulate electric vehicle usage.
On top of making charging station commitments, 24 state and regional governments have decided to raise the amount of electric vehicles, zero-emissions vehicles, or plug-in hybrid vehicles in their municipal fleets. The FHWA said the aim is to add 2,500 new electric vehicles in 2017, but the details of those individual commitments vary. For instance, Columbus, Ohio will add nearly 450 electric vehicles, and Los Angeles has agreed to triple its amount of EVs by 2018. Rhode Island has committed to making 25 percent of its new light-duty vehicles electric by 2025.
A substantial network of charging stations is vital to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Escalating the amount of charging stations would help lessen the worry that electric vehicle owners have regarding their range limits. And while we already have greater than 16,000 charging stations set up across the country, many have long wait times.
Image credit: Thinkstock
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