Suffer from a bit of range anxiety and live out West? You can now breathe a sigh of relief. Late last year, at the Energy Innovation Summit, a handful of governors from Western states signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide a framework for creating a regional electric vehicle (EV) plan for Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
It’s intention? To kick-start EV adoption by creating an electric car corridor that spans more than 5,000 miles of highway across east-west Interstates 10, 40, 70, 76, 80, 84, 86, 90 and 94 and north-south Interstates 15 and 25.
The Span of EV
With more than 20,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids already on the roads in Western states, the electrification of these major corridors is expected to reduce range anxiety and drive further EV adoption, while transforming the market to allow smaller communities to plug into the regional system.
The plan will be called the Regional Electric Vehicle Plan for the West (REV West) and aims to do the following:
Create procedures that will jump-start electric vehicle adoption by promoting EV acceptance and awareness and addressing "range anxiety," coordinate on EV charging station locations to avoid redundancy, ensure stations are sited at a frequency and location that will optimize utilization, and minimize inconsistencies between charging infrastructure in each state. The plan will also create voluntary minimum standards for EV charging stations, including standards for administration, operations and management.
By developing the Intermountain West Electric Vehicle Corridor, the states are confident that tourism and recreation, as well as economies, in more rural environments will get a boost. According to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the collaboration not only will drive economic growth, but will also promote outdoor recreation opportunities throughout these seven states: "Our residents and the millions of visitors to our states will be able to drive electric vehicles from Denver to Las Vegas, from Santa Fe to Helena."
The collaboration agreement also delves into establishing public-private partnerships with groups such as automobile manufacturers, electricity providers, EV charging infrastructure industry, corporate fleet owners and financial institutions in order to foster EV market growth.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock added that this state-led effort "shows how western states continue to work together to find innovative solutions and plan for a future where increasing numbers of people and families are traveling the West in electric vehicles."
All seven governors have formed a coordination group composed of senior leadership from each state, and they plan on meeting quarterly to report on REV West’s progress.
Here’s to revving up interest in electric vehicle adoption across state lines.