A new network of charging stations will make the 'Great American Road Trip' possible in an EV
Driving an electric vehicle is a lot of fun. They drive super smooth because when you accelerate the car doesn't have to go through the herky-jerky motion of switching gears. Plus, they also save you a ton of money on gas and are great for the environment.
The only problem is the dreaded range anxiety. While the more expensive lines of electric cars can get you around 250 miles per charge, more affordable models still linger in the 150-mile range.
That makes road trips difficult because you have to pull find a fast charger every few hours; then, wait for the car to power up for 45 minutes or so before heading out for the next few hundred miles. That is, of course, if you can find a fast charger.
So, for now, that means taking the family on a Clark Griswald-esque trip across the country is still a bit out of reach for most EV drivers.
However, a coalition made up of six major utility companies just announced it wants to make the great American road trip possible for EV drivers. The Electric Highway Coalition aims to create a seamless network of charging stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast, through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf and Central Plains regions.
"The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on U.S. roads by 2030," it said in a press release. "While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, such as the ease of low-cost home charging, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips."
"Throughout the ages, travelers have had to figure out how to get from point A to B. From feeding and watering horses, to filling gas tanks, and now recharging batteries, ensuring that there are convenient places to accomplish these tasks is critical," Nick Akins, AEP's chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. "With this effort, we are working to help drivers see that (electric vehicles) fit their lifestyle and their travel plans, wherever the road might take them."
Although no official map has been presented by the group, it plans to create charging stations along major highway routes with easy access and amenities for travellers while they wait for a charge. The group plans to provide DC chargers that can have drivers at full power in just 20 to 30 minutes.
So after a few hundred miles on the road, you can take the family to a place reminiscent of a highway rest stop where you can charge up while having a bite to eat, using the restroom, and stretching your legs a bit.
"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," Nicholas Akins, AEP's chairman, president, and chief executive officer said in a press release.
The new initiative also allows people to save a lot on vacation costs. Gas can be expensive when traveling across large swathes of the country. Charging an EV is much more economical, while some stations are free, those that cost money can juice-up a car with a 150-mile range for around $7.
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