Dec 7, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Power industry teams up on highway EV charging

A vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger station in Vallejo, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.

A vehicle at a Tesla Supercharger station in Vallejo, California, on Oct. 19. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The big trade group for investor-owned power companies is set to unveil Tuesday a new coalition aimed at making electric vehicle charging more accessible along the nations' highways.

Driving the news: The Edison Electric Institute is rolling out the National Electric Highway Coalition. It merges two existing efforts — Electric Highway Coalition and the Midwest Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Collaboration — and brings in new companies.

  • The initiative now includes over 50 power companies, including heavyweights like Southern Company, Exelon, Pacific Gas & Electric, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy and others.

Why it matters: Drivers' confidence that they can access charging is among the forces that will determine the growth rate of EVs.

What's next: "[T]he coalition is committed to providing electric vehicle (EV) fast charging ports that will allow the public to drive EVs with confidence along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023," the announcement states.

Graph showing quarterly growth of public ESVE ports by charging level.
Image via the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The big picture: A September report from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory provides a helpful snapshot of access growth.

  • In the first quarter, the number of publicly accessible charging ports listed in DOE's Alternative Fueling Station Locator topped 100,000 for the first time.
  • That's a fifth of the way toward President Biden's goal of 500,000 by 2030.
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