American Electric Power (AEP) and five other major utilities today announced a plan to create an electric vehicle fast-charger electric highway coalition. Accordingly, those companies are looking to connect major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast; through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf and Central Plains.
Notably, this initiative aims to provide EV drivers with broader access to charging stations.
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AEP: new EV fast charger highway coalition
Today, six major utilities announced a plan to ensure that electric vehicle (EV) drivers have access to a homologated network of charging stations. In fact, this initiative would connect major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast; through the Midwest and South; and into the Gulf and Central Plains regions.
Therefore, the Electric Highway Coalition is made up of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
In this regard, the companies announced a plan to enable EV drivers to travel across major regions of the country; this, through a network of DC fast chargers for EVs.
Moreover, the parties are each taking steps to provide EV charging solutions within their service territories.
Thus, this initiative represents an unprecedented effort to offer efficient EV charging options across different company territories. Besides, it would allow users to travel without interruption.
In fact, the Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030.
For instance, many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV; however, some are concerned with charging stations during long road trips.
For this reason, with efforts like the Electric Highway Coalition; “electric companies are demonstrating that EVs are a smart choice for driving around town. Besides, as well as traveling long distances,” said AEP in a press release.
Furthermore, the expected charging stations would provide DC fast chargers; capable of getting drivers back on the road in approximately 20-30 minutes.
“Throughout the ages, travelers have had to figure out how to get from point A to B. For instance, from feeding and watering horses to filling gas tanks and now recharging batteries. Therefore, they needed to ensure that there are convenient places to accomplish these tasks,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president, and chief executive officer.
“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,” Akins added.
AEP’s plans regarding EVs
In fact, AEP has committed to replacing its 2,300 cars and light-duty trucks with EV models by 2030. Additionally, the company will transition its medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to hybrid or electric alternatives.
In this sense, the charging network announced today also would enable AEP employees to use EVs to travel; throughout the company’s 11-state service territory.
Similarly, the company is working with select customers across its service territory.
For example, in 2018, AEP Ohio launched a $10 million program to deploy 375 charging stations; thus, in partnership with local governments. Also, with workplaces, and multi-family dwellings. Indeed through this action, the company aimed to increase publicly available charging sites. Besides, to demonstrate the benefit of public-private partnerships as part of the Smart Columbus initiative.
Furthermore, the companies stated that the Electric Highway Coalition welcomes interested utilities to join as it seeks to extend network reach. Additionally, it supports and looks forward to working with other regional utility transportation corridor electrification initiatives.