On March 2nd, six of the country’s largest utilities agreed to partner to develop fast-charging corridors throughout the Midwest and Southeast. The Electric Highway Coalition will ensure that electric vehicle (EV) drivers have access to a corridor of charging stations across a significant portion of the U.S.
About the Electric Highway Coalition
American Electric Power (AEP), Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corp., Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced the plans to provide EV drivers with access to EV DC Fast Chargers along frequently traveled interstate roads. Each company will provide EV charging solutions within their service territories. Hence, as part of an unprecedented effort to create convenient travel solutions for electric drivers.
“Adoption of electric vehicles and the transformation of the nation’s transportation system is underway. Besides, it is essential that AEP is a meaningful and active part of this transformation. Hence, being a part of the Electric Highway Coalition is a foundational component of that engagement;” said Lisa Barton, executive vice president and chief operating officer of AEP.
“This effort is very timely given the recent electric vehicle announcements from leading auto manufacturers. Also, due to the need to address long-distance travel for our EV customers. Therefore, I am proud of the Coalition’s leadership in this area and our ability to coordinate in such a short period of time.”
Each station will be equipped to charge EVs in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. For added convenience, these stations will be strategically positioned along major highway routes. This, as a direct result of collaboration amongst the partnering companies. Also, to leverage existing and planned compatible DC Fast charging stations.
The partner companies’ employees will also benefit from the partnership, as several partners have begun electrifying fleet vehicles. This corridor will allow employees using EVs to travel efficiently through their respective service territories. Moreover, with access to convenient charging stations.
A strong partnership
To solidify this partnership, each utility agreed to a specific set of principles. For instance, they allow for ongoing collaboration between the companies and prioritize EV drivers’ needs.
“We saw the opportunity to address a concern of some customers around purchasing electric vehicles. In fact, namely range anxiety and the future charging needs of our own electric vehicle fleet in our service territories;” said Phil Dion, vice president, and interim chief customer officer.
For instance, “last fall, our senior management team agreed and recognized that this proposal could be improved. Accordingly, if we could partner with neighboring utilities. For instance, to create an electric vehicle corridor for our customers. Thus, I am very proud of how the team, led by Jeff Lehman and the operating company EV leads, took a concept. Furthermore, how they quickly turned it into something that will greatly benefit our customers. “
Dion also shared that the partnership speaks to the industry’s ability to create solutions for customers. Besides, how the corridor will make choosing EVs more feasible for customers.
So, “this corridor will have significant benefits for our customers, our company, and our communities,” said Dion. Therefore, “it shows how utilities can collaborate with each other to address one of the key barriers that prevents customers from purchasing an electric vehicle.”
As a result of the partnership, millions of drivers will soon have access to the corridor. In fact, with initial site deployment scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.