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Power Companies to Build National EV Charging Network

More than 50 U.S. power companies are partnering to build a coast-to-coast charging network for electric vehicles by the end of 2023, according to POLITICO Pro (subscription).

Power coalition: “The National Electric Highway Coalition was announced today by the Edison Electric Institute. Fifty EEI members; the Tennessee Valley Authority; and Midwest Energy Inc., a Kansas-based electric cooperative, make up the coalition. It also combines two existing EV charging groups formed in the Midwest and in Southern and Eastern coastal states.”

  • The group has not set a number of installations but says “its first actions would be to fill in gaps in the steadily growing EV charging infrastructure along the Interstate Highway System.”
  • The number of EVs is expected to grow from approximately 2 million to at least 20 million by the end of the decade, according to the EEI.

Electrifying goal: Transportation electrification is a goal for many power companies, and some may focus their efforts on “extending high-voltage connections to existing or new charging locations along highway routes, such as convenience stores, gas stations or auto dealers. The charging units could be provided by private charging companies.”

  • Alternatively, power companies may invest in full charging station locations without an available customer to host them.

In line with President Biden’s plan: “Biden’s plan includes a goal of 500,000 EV charging stations by 2030, when the administration hopes that half of annual vehicle sales will be electric. According to the administration’s plan, $5 billion will go to states for EV chargers. The Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Program will get $2.5 billion to support EV stations and hydrogen, propane and natural gas infrastructure.”

Approval needed: “Most utilities will need approval from state utilities commissions to make major investments in EV charging networks, grid officials say. According to an EEI survey issued early this year, 52 electric companies in 31 states and the District of Columbia had received regulatory approval to begin electric transportation programs of various types, with budgets totaling nearly $3 billion. The number of states is now 35.”

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