The dream of driving an electric car on an all-American road trip just moved a little closer to reality.
The Obama Administration yesterday announced new actions designed to give owners of electric cars access to a majority of the country.
In its announcement, the White House said,
By working together across the Federal government and with the private sector, we can ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to charging stations at home, at work, and on the road – creating a new way of thinking about transportation that will drive America forward.
The plan includes 48 electric vehicle charging corridors spanning 25,000 miles of highway in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The electrified routes will place recharging stations at 50 mile intervals at a minimum, meaning all current EVs on the road will be able to reach them.
Is this the major step forward it appears to be?
First of all, it’s important to remember that the Administration’s actions aren’t actual construction plans. They merely designate the routes that charging corridors could eventually take. It’ll still take a massive effort between government agencies and private businesses to translate the designations into actual, drivable, charging corridors.
That said, the incentives could be there for businesses to step up and start putting this new infrastructure into place. Last summer, the government announced a $4.5 billion loan guarantee program designed to support construction of charging stations. General Electric, BMW, Nissan, and General Motors have agreed to help build the network with the cooperation of utilities in 28 states.
It’s quite clear, however, that the plans heavily favor the two coasts and leave much of the upper Midwest and Southwest without service, not to mention the deep South and, for some reason, the entire states of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia.
You’re covered, however, if you want to drive from New York to Las Vegas, Seattle to Los Angeles, or Minneapolis to Dallas.
A nationwide infrastructure of charging stations is vital if electric cars are to ever replace internal combustion engines, and the White House seems to be doing its part to make sure that happens. We’ll try not to get too excited, though, because anything can happen over the next four years.
Would you like to see nationwide infrastructure for charging electric cars?