The Electric Highway Coalition, which is made up of six major US utilities, has announced its plan to install direct current electric vehicle (EV) chargers across the US.
The project will enable EV drivers to 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 and Central Plains regions.
This will help expand the adoption of EVs and their use for long distance travelling.
The programme will also help the six utilities namely American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority to improve their customer services and offerings in their service territories.
Electrification of the the transport system is also expected to help utilities to reduce carbon emissions in their areas of operations.
EVs would also help serve as energy storage mechanisms for grid reliability through capabilities such as vehicle to grid or vehicle to everything.
The announcement comes after the Edison Electric Institute released a report in which they say they estimate some 18 million EVs on US roads by 2030.
Measures utilities are adopting to ensure the expansion of the EVs market include providing their customers with rebates for EV charging, helping public transportation to go green through partnerships with public transportation providers, incentivising EV owners in demand response projects and converting company fleets into EVs.
While many drivers recognise 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.
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 are capable of getting drivers back on the road in approximately 20-30 minutes.
Robert M. Blue, president and chief executive officer at Dominion Energy, said: “Dominion Energy is committed to equitable and reliable charging access so our customers may experience the benefits of electric transportation, including reduced carbon emissions.
“We’re excited to collaborate with our utility partners on this important initiative to connect customers to charging resources and encourage electric vehicle travel.”