ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NATSO is partnering with a major electric vehicle (EV) charging network to support the development of charging stations at thousands of travel centers and truckstops across the United States.
NATSO, the national association for travel centers and truckstops, has formed The National Highway Charging Collaborative with ChargePoint, which is said to be the largest EV charging network in the country. The two have signed a memorandum of understanding in which they agreed to target the following goals by 2030:
- Install EV charging stations at 4,000 travel centers and fueling sites by tapping $1 billion in capital.
- Provide charging stations at fueling locations across the United States with a focus on connecting rural populations.
- Expand availability of charging infrastructure and connect the existing Federal Highway Administration-designated FAST Act corridors.
- Work together on policy to support each of these objectives.
As part of the collaboration, NATSO and ChargePoint will identify public and private funding opportunities to support the EV charging expansion. This includes funds earmarked for states from Volkswagen’s settlement with the United States government over its diesel emissions cheating scandal. (Volkswagen, through its subsidiary Electrify America, has been building its own public EV charging network in partnership with convenience stores and other retailers and property owners.)
“NATSO for the last 20 years has successfully advocated for incentives to enable our members to profitably incorporate renewable fuels into their fuel supply. We look forward to building on these successes so that the travel center industry can continue to play a leading role in bringing alternative fuels to its customers,” said Lisa Mullings, NATSO president and CEO. NATSO has worked with the Federal Highway Administration since 2016 to increase the availability of alternative fuels through its Alternative Fuels Corridor Program.
“ChargePoint is proud to partner with NATSO to significantly expand access to charging along America’s highways while also ensuring that the implementation of charging infrastructure in rural areas accelerates in the years to come,” said Pasquale Romano, president and CEO of ChargePoint, Campbell, Calif. ChargePoint’s network has more than 108,100 charging points around the world and has reportedly supplied more than 73 million charges. In the past few years, ChargePoint has installed stations at 7-Eleven among other c-store retailers, and has attracted funding from Chevron.
Travel center and truckstop operators interested in learning more about The National Highway Charging Collaborative can click here.
A National Network
The NATSO-ChargePoint partnership was announced the same week that a new bill was introduced to form a national fast-charging network. The Electric Vehicle Freedom Act, sponsored by Rep. Andy Levin (D) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D), would create the nationwide network of fast charging stations within five years, with an aim of using technology that could ensuring a full charge in the same time it takes to fill up a gasoline or diesel tank. The stations would be ADA-compliant and compatible with all charging standards, and offer guaranteed secure, convenient and equal-access payment methods. The bill directs the U.S. Secretaries of Transportation and Energy to develop a plan to create the network, submit it to Congress and create the network within five years.
In an interview with The Hill, Levin declined to provide an estimate of costs or how they would be paid for—by taxpayers or the site hosts—other than to say, “It'll cost a lot of money to put all these chargers in place." Levin also would not specify how many chargers the network would include or where they would go, but he told The Hill it would be an "extensive" system across both interstates and the national highway system "such that it's a comprehensive system so that people can get everywhere."