Transportation

White House unveils plans for electric vehicle charging stations

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The White House unveiled plans on Thursday to install 48 electric vehicle charging corridors on U.S. highways as part of the administration’s push to boost electric car use.

{mosads}The new EV networks will cover nearly 25,000 miles in 35 states, with manufacturers, utility companies, charging firms and local governments agreeing to work together to build the stations.

Two dozen states and local governments have also agreed to use electric vehicles in their own fleets.

The Department of Energy will conduct two studies to analyze the best practices for fast charging installation and identify the optimal number of charging stations for different EV market scenarios, the White House added.

“The Obama Administration is committed to taking responsible steps to combat climate change, increase access to clean energy technologies, and reduce our dependence on oil,” the administration said in a press release. “Already, in the past eight years the number of plug-in electric vehicle models has increased. … But there is more work to do.”

The effort comes as a new fleet of cheaper and longer-range electric vehicles is on the horizon, thanks to advancements in technology.

Accelerating the use of electric vehicles has long been a priority for President Obama, who in 2011 called for 1 million plug-in electric vehicles to be on the roads.

But the widespread adoption of electric cars has fallen short. One major hurdle is “range anxiety,” or a consumer’s concern about how far an electric car can travel before it needs to be charged.

The 2009 economic stimulus package provided funding for the construction of 20,000 electric charging stations. Since then, utility companies, manufacturers and some private companies have begun to construct charging infrastructure on their own.

But it can be difficult to justify building more stations before more electric vehicles are on the road.

Currently, there are more than 12,000 electric stations and 32,000 charging outlets in the United States, not including private stations, according to the Department of Energy.

The new White House initiative, however, will help kick-start the installation of major charging networks, which could encourage more electric-vehicle sales.

“Today’s announcement from the White House on electric vehicle corridors underscores that the future is now when it comes to advanced transportation,” said Reuben Munger, managing director of Vision Ridge.

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