RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — For short-term trips, not having to worry about using gas seems like a luxury but long-distance travel can seem intimidating for electric vehicle drivers as they worry about finding charging stations.
A coalition of six major utility companies — including American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority — has introduced a plan to make long-distance trips more accessible for EVs as they become more popular.
On Tuesday, the Electric Highway Coalition announced their plan to establish a network of DC fast chargers along major highway systems spreading from the East Coast through parts of the Midwest and South as well as into the Gulf coast and Central Plains regions.
According to a release from Dominion Energy, the chargers would take about 20 to 30 minutes to fully charge an electric vehicle. Charging locations would be placed in areas with easy highway access and amenities for drivers.
“Throughout the ages, travelers have had to figure out how to get from point A to B. From feeding and watering horses, to filling gas tanks, and now recharging batteries, ensuring that there are convenient places to accomplish these tasks is critical,” Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer stated in a release. “With this effort, we are working to help drivers see that EVs fit their lifestyle and their travel plans, wherever the road might take them.”
The Edison Electric Institute predicts that by 2030 there will be about 18 million EVs on U.S. roads.
Now with a majority of vehicles using gas, Environmental Protection Agency data shows that transportation is the largest contributor to carbon emissions, making up 28% of total emissions.
Dominion’s release explains that traveling by electric vehicle will reduce overall emissions and improve air quality.
In order to incentive use of electric vehicles, Dominion says they will be providing rebates for electric vehicle charging, helping introduction electric buses for public transportation, offering time-based rates for vehicle charging, using electric and hybrid vehicles for company light duty use and introducing an electric self-driving shuttle in Fairfax.