CLOUMBUS, Ohio — Six utilities are working together to create a network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast, through the Midwest and South and into the Gulf and Central Plains regions.
The Electric Highway Coalition—made up of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corp., Southern Co., and the Tennessee Valley Authority—revealed a plan to enable travel across major regions of the country through a network of DC fast chargers for EVs. The companies are each taking steps to provide EV charging within their service territories.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on U.S. roads by 2030. Some drivers are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips and projects such as the Electric Highway Coalition aim to ease consumers' range anxiety when travelling between convenience stores and other charging stations.
This effort will provide drivers with charging options that enable long-distance EV travel. Sites along major highway routes with easy highway access and amenities for travelers are being considered as coalition members work to determine final charging station locations. Charging stations will provide DC fast chargers that are capable of getting drivers back on the road in approximately 20-30 minutes.
“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,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP’s chairman, president and CEO.
AEP has committed to replacing its 2,300 cars and light-duty trucks with EV models by 2030. Additional medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will transition to hybrid or electric alternatives as models become available. The charging network will also enable AEP employees to use EVs to travel throughout the company’s 11-state service territory.
In 2020, Indiana Michigan Power began offering its IM Plugged In program to address residential, multi-family dwelling, fleet and workplace charging, as well as corridor fast charging. The program offers customers rebate programs that reduce EV charging infrastructure costs and EV-specific off-peak rates.
Appalachian Power offers a residential off-peak charging program for Virginia customers. Customers also receive credits for EV charging that takes place during off-peak periods, such as overnight.
Additionally, residential customers of Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Co. in Louisiana and Texas are eligible for energy efficiency rebates on qualified EV chargers.
The Electric Highway Coalition welcomes interested utilities to join as it seeks to extend the reach of network, it said. Additionally, it supports other regional utility transportation corridor electrification initiatives.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, operates and maintains the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to deliver power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Co. (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables.