Oh, the Places You Won't Go on the Obama Administration's 48 EV Corridors

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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oh the places you em won t em go on the obama administration s 48 ev corridors

Battery electric vehicles are supposedly the future, but you’ll need an EV with plenty of range if you want to visit some of the areas overlooked by the Obama administration’s new charging corridor plan.

Earlier today, the White House announced 48 electric vehicle charging corridors spanning 25,000 miles of highway in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The electrified routes, established a month before the government was required to do so under federal law, will place a recharging station within reach of even the wimpiest electric vehicles. That means 50 mile intervals at a minimum.

For some areas, nervous EV road trippers would be best served by a gas guzzler or low-cost airline.

The announcement follows this summer’s $4.5 billion loan guarantee program designed to spur construction of charging stations. General Electric, BMW, Nissan and General Motors have agreed to help built the network, with the cooperation of numerous utilities, local municipalities and 28 states.

“These initial and future corridors will serve as a basis for a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to enable coast to coast zero emission mobility on our nation’s highways,” the administration stated.

Expect plenty of signage added to those 48 corridors, each of which was included in a slightly longer list of “alternative fuel corridors.” If you’re looking for juice, signs developed by the Federal Highway Administration will tell you where to find it. Chances are drivers will also discover delicious fast food and (hopefully) above par washroom facilities near the electron pump.

Now, where can’t you go on these highways of the future? Plenty of places. The corridors bypass much of the Upper Plains, desert Southwest, Gulf coast and Ohio Valley. Sorry, Biloxi and Bismark. Naturally, both the west and east coasts — as well as Texas and the Midwest — see their EV dreams come true.

Besides the highway network, 24 state and local jurisdictions have signed on to boost their EV fleet and install local charging stations, plus a host of other initiatives. Will it boost EV ownership? The feds sure hope so, as consumers have a nasty habit of failing to meet government expectations.

Obama’s one million EV marker came and went in 2015 with less than half that number sold. According to Reuters, only 520,000 electrics vehicles have sold in the U.S. since his 2008 announcement.

[Image: © 2016 Jeff Voth/The Truth About Cars; Federal Highway Administration]

Steph Willems
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    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Nov 04, 2016

      That's a cool map. I wonder how much use those stations got at the time.

  • Derekson Derekson on Nov 04, 2016

    Let's spend all our infrastructure funding on EV charging systems rather than repairing our decaying bridges and repaving our third world roads. What could possibly go wrong?

    • See 5 previous
    • Pch101 Pch101 on Nov 04, 2016

      How Much Does It Cost to Build a Mile of Road? There is no single answer to this question. Construction costs per mile of road depend on location, terrain, type of construction, number of lanes, lane width, durability, number of bridges, etc. It costs more to build a new road than to rehabilitate a road or add lanes. Roads cost more to build in urban areas than in rural areas. Roads in mountainous terrain are more expensive to build than roads on flat land. Nonetheless, some states have developed cost models to guide planning for their highway construction programs. These models give a ballpark figure for various kinds of highway improvements. The following are some examples: -Construct a new 2-lane undivided road – about $2 million to $3 million per mile in rural areas, about $3 million to $5 million in urban areas. -Construct a new 4-lane highway — $4 million to $6 million per mile in rural and suburban areas, $8 million to $10 million per mile in urban areas. -Construct a new 6-lane Interstate highway – about $7 million per mile in rural areas, $11 million or more per mile in urban areas. -Mill and resurface a 4-lane road – about $1.25 million per mile. -Expand an Interstate Highway from four lanes to six lanes – about $4 million per mile. http://www.artba.org/about/faq/ Roads ain't cheap.

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