(March 2, 2021) — Six major utilities today – including Entergy Corporation – announced a plan to ensure that electric vehicle drivers have access to a seamless network of charging stations connecting major highway systems from the Atlantic Coast through the Midwest and South, and into the Gulf Coast and Central Plains regions.
The Electric Highway Coalition – made up of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority – announced a plan to enable electric vehicle drivers seamless travel across major regions of the country through a network of direct current fast chargers for electric vehicles. The companies are each taking steps to provide EV charging solutions within their service territories.
This represents an unprecedented effort to offer EV drivers convenient charging options across different company service territories and allow EV travel without interruption.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on U.S. roads by 2030. 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. With efforts like the Electric Highway Coalition, electric companies are demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for driving around town as well as traveling long distances.
This effort will provide drivers with effective, efficient and convenient charging options that enable long distance electric 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 can get drivers back on the road in approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
“At Entergy, we are taking an integrated approach toward a carbon-free future that includes working with industry peers and customers to electrify other sectors of the economy like transportation and the maritime industry,” said Leo Denault, chairman and CEO of Entergy Corporation. “Initiatives like this proposed regional EV charging corridor will help lower transportation emissions and provide community benefits for all our stakeholders.”
Since 2008, Entergy’s Green Fleet Strategy sought to reduce the environmental impact of the company’s vehicles and equipment by using more efficient options, with a goal of achieving a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption from 2008 levels by 2020. Entergy achieved its target in 2015, five years ahead of schedule. This strategy encompassed more efficient replacement practices, which reduced end-of-life costly repairs, purchasing more fuel-efficient engines, acquiring new emission system, and other drive train technology, which led to safe and less costly operations to the benefits of our employees and customers.
To further execute its strategy, Entergy has recently invested in more than 40 strategically located charging stations to be used by its growing electric vehicle fleet, which allows for nearly 90 vehicles to charge simultaneously. As further evidence of Entergy’s commitment to decarbonization, starting in 2023, Entergy’s fleet plan is for all passenger vehicles, fork-lifts, pallet jacks, etc., will be all-electric where readily available from the manufacturer. Also, 80% of the company’s aerial units will be powered by electricity by 2031.
Entergy has actively monitored the latest technologies and market trends related to electric vehicles and continues to do so in preparation of engaging regulators to determine the best path forward on behalf of its customers.
The Electric Highway Coalition welcomes interested utilities to join as it seeks to extend the reach of network. Additionally, it supports and looks forward to working with other regional utility transportation corridor electrification initiatives.