By on November 3, 2016

2016 Ford Focus EV Plug, Image: © 2016 Jeff Voth/The Truth About Cars

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.

EV corridor map

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]

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90 Comments on “Oh, the Places You Won’t Go on the Obama Administration’s 48 EV Corridors...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Yeah DATS RITE.

    Don’t come to Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky with your electric witchcrafts!

    I see Ted Turner also rejected any charging stations on the land he owns.

  • avatar
    Kenn

    Sure, Steph, put a negative spin on positive news to arouse emotions for more clicks. Is the plan ideal? Of course not. Will it encourage more to purchase EVs? I would hope so. But it involves the Obama administration – and this is an auto-oriented site (which usually means mostly right-wingers) – so bring on the hate!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      No, you’re right, they should be ignoring the missed marker and singing the praises of Lord Obama.

      There is a significant number of places not covered. One single route that actually crosses the country? So everyone must use it? It is news that it does not provide anyone anywhere at least somewhat populated the guarantee of worry-free electric driving. It isn’t a right wing or left wing fact, its just a fact.

      I mean, its great if you want to drive your Leaf from San Francisco to Seattle for Hemp Fest, or your Model S from NYC to LA for a reshoot of last week’s scene, but it sucks if you live where I do, hundreds of miles away from the nearest link and being forced to go thousands of miles out of my way to get to my theoretical destination (friends/family in PNW).

      There are lots of facts about the Obama administration that you’d be less than pleased to hear, it doesn’t mean they aren’t fact and indisputable. If this bothers you and your preference is to have a “at’a’boy Obama” spin on everything, go back to AutoBlog/HuffPo and pray to the God you don’t believe in that people will somehow find Hillary trustworthy enough to vote for.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        I thought you have moved back to the PNW? There are lots of charging stations around here, pretty much every Walgreens have them and a few Fred Meyer’s too. Now if you are headed to E. WA then yeah it is tough going.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    You gotta start somewhere. Don’t tear down the house before it’s built.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I agree that it is positive news, and it’s a great idea. Having said that, I looked at the map and said “damnit”.

    There is one roadtrip that I make semi-frequently, Dallas to Indianapolis, to see relatives.

    There are 4 road trips that I would love to take in the future:
    Dallas to Los Angeles
    Dallas to Cape Cod
    Dallas to Wyoming
    Dallas to Orlando

    Only one out of four of those road trips would be covered under this plan. So I think I will be sticking with my gas powered car for many more years. I know that more will be covered in the future, it’s just frustrating to see so many preferred routes for me missing from the initial plan.

    But if I were to buy an EV, I think a Plug-in would be ideal for me. Enough electric range to cover my daily commute, gas engine to cover my occasional road trip. Still, the last time I shopped for a car I did take a few hybrids for a test drive. I really didn’t fall in love with any of them.

  • avatar
    jmo

    I’m getting ready to give up TTAC as a result of the clickbait idiocy. Enough already.

    • 0 avatar
      Von

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      +2

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      +3

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        +4
        OBAMA, YO!

        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.

        I’m sure there was little opposition to this goal from, you know, most everybody.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          People aren’t opposed to EVs so much as they are opposed to being highly restricted on where they can go and how long they can drive without access to a charging station, and how long charging will take, and why it has to look like the f’n Leaf (it doesn’t anymore, thanks to the Chevy Bolt and although they are high-end, Tesla current models and vague future ones).

          This was supposed to change a lot of that restrictive part. And for a lot of us, it made little or no difference to justify the risk of, for the first time in your life, driving a vehicle you can’t readily refuel no matter how your day or road trip goes.

          Can I go here? No, that’s 1600 miles and like 3 charging stations way out of my way, can’t do that, sorry Uncle Benny.
          Vs
          Can I go here? Yes, there are 8 Chevrons, 6 BPs, 3 Shells and 4 truck stops all with high quality fuel I can afford along the way that will take no more than 15 minutes to obtain, to enable me to travel 300+ miles per each time I stop.

          This is progress, but its barely progress. Don’t blame us for not setting fire to our ICEs and running to put down a deposit on a car not yet fully designed with a very uncertain release date. Just kidding. I’d take the Bolt over the 3. Hell, I’d take the Bolt with an ICE over a lot of small ICE cars on the market. It looks snazzy and, um, real? Yeah, that’s the word.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

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

    Ha, I’m closer to a public EV station than an airline terminal (although I’d need a Bolt or Tesla to reach either). I imagine that map is about what the Interstate Highway System looked like in the mid-1960s.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      Well, the difference is that, before there was the Interstate system, there was the U.S. highway system.

      The more interesting comparison, if it were available, would be the location of gasoline stations in, say, 1915. I believe there were several accounts of cross-country trips at the time. It was quite an adventure, requiring the driver to carry spare tires, spare wheel, fuel, etc. I wonder what the range of, say, a Model T Ford is?

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    I have an idea for an article. Editors should each spend a few days a week driving a new car. Then the next week write up a few paragraphs outlining the highs and lows. You could call it a “car review”

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Shorter Steph: We shouldn’t ever try to improve anything unless we can do 100% of it overnight.

    Come on, Mark. TTAC can do better than knee-jerk fear of anything that smells of greenness.

    Having said that, I’m disappointed not to see the west end of I-90 included at least as far as Missoula, because that’s the long-distance highway I drive by far the most often. Until that highway is EV compatible we will need to own a largish ICE vehicle or pay to rent one several times a year.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Yes they should be spending the money on I 90, they really just need a station between Cle Elum and Ritzville to make it viable for most pure EVs to make it from Seattle to Spokane and I think there is at least one in Couer D’alene. Meanwhile I5 is already pretty covered. http://www.westcoastgreenhighway.com/waelectrichighways.htm

      I saw something that you will probably appreciate the other day. I was giving a presentation at the Google campus in your old neck of the woods. I went into the parking garage and found around 75 EV only parking spaces with chargers. I’ve never seen so many Leafs and Model S in one location, far more than you would ever see at a Nissan dealer or even Paramount Motors. Interestingly there were few cords actually running to vehicles as most seemed to be taking advantage of the parking that was closest to the elevator stacks rather than actually charging their vehicles.

      I didn’t look that close to see if it was a commercial network or if it was free to employees as I was running a little late. I’m guessing it is not free or I would have seen more plugs in use. I was bummed to not see a single Energi, Focus Electric, Model X and only one Volt.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I never looked before we moved away! I do know that a startling number of Leafs, and a few Model Ses, drove into that parking lot every morning. I’m sure the chargers must be paid, because free chargers tend to be in use no matter what, as I’ve found often since I became a PHEV owner.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          This was in the new Building D parking garage that just opened recently. Maybe there are so many charging stations because there were so many employees with EVs.

          My rough estimate was that for every Model S there were about 5 Leafs.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I wouldn’t be surprised if that was a condition imposed by the city to build such a big parking lot. The neighbors in that area are apoplectic about any and all development, including Google, because they feel traffic has become impossible. (I’ve lived in places with impossible traffic. There are a few of them even in the Seattle area. South Kirkland is decidedly not one.)

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the city has a regulation requiring x% of the spaces be for EVs with charging facilities’ What would surprise me greatly if the percentage was that high. Granted I was only on the 1st floor but they represented near 1/3 of the spaces on that floor. I’m guessing that the next floor down had none which would still mean that the EV spaces accounted for ~15%.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “and only one Volt.”

        No need, really. If those were pay charging stations, running the Volt on gas (these days) would be cheaper than premium electrons.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Yeah if they were pay at some of the rates I’ve seen then no it doesn’t make sense to charge, just take advantage of the close parking space whether you intend to charge or not. On the one hand I would think Google would buy their own equipment and not charge for charging, but since so few were plugged in maybe it does cost.

          On the other hand they may not need to charge every day based on their use. My friend who just replaced his Volt with a BMW has free charging at work. Because his round trip is 35 miles he used to charge the Volt everyday and didn’t pay for commuting. With the BMW he makes sure to charge Friday so he can get through the weekend then again on Mon. In theory he could make it to Fri w/o charging again but he often tops it up on Wed so he can run errands in the evening. So far he has used $1.xx of electricity that he actually payed for and the only reason he did that at home was because of the predicted storm that was expected to knock out power in many areas.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “just take advantage of the close parking space whether you intend to charge or not.”

            No, never do that. PHEV drivers have to have some ethics in this matter.

            Think of a cattleman pulling his herd from the river to allow a neighbor to water his – you know, that good ‘ol USA neighborly thing. EV types need to be more considerate because of the slower charge times, and Volt/PHEV owners shouldn’t use a charging station except for an emergency.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I just don’t consider EVs viable without massive taxpayer handouts. Even car manufacturers that are working with the Federal government would not become involved in this waste with out handouts. The States just use tax dollars.

    How many years now has hybrids and EVs been given special status? The governments should tell these companies we are winding back support.

    When IC engines hit the scene infrastructure was put in place at a much lower cost to the public. The reason is liquid energy is easier logistically.

    I think it’s about time the “feel good” crowd start coughing up the real cost to operate EVs.

    If EVs can’t compete then let the industry die, let the market determine when these are viable. Battery tech at the moment is only viable for Smart phones, laptops and cordless drills.

    How many cordless drills are subsidised by the taxpayer?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “I just don’t consider EVs viable without massive taxpayer handouts.”

      Fossil fuel cars would not have been viable either without massive taxpayer handouts applied in different ways. You just can’t see them as easily because they’re applied further upstream in the distribution system.

      Transportation (other than walking) has always been subsidized and is always going to be subsidized as a matter of public policy.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Dal,
        Comparatively speaking fossil fuel vehicles recieved SFA. Rail on the other hand is different.

        As we can see rail can’t dominate. Its just to inflexible and costly to have a station at every home. And all major passenger rail services are still subsidised or they will operate at a loss.

        EVs are confronted with a similar problem. EVs will work in dense population centres, even then all should pay the real cost of buying and opetating one. This indicates to me we are not ready for EVs.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          re: “fossil fuel vehicles recieved SFA”

          How about the Interstate Highway System, as well as the surrendering of a massive chunk of real estate in all cities to car traffic?

          That alone has to be several orders of magnitude higher than the simple fact of making sure that a few rest stops have charging circuits.

          “As we can see rail can’t dominate. Its just to inflexible and costly to have a station at every home”

          Al, lots of people commute by rail all over the world. It’s not a universal solution (nothing is), and it’s obviously not for Australia, but it’s been popular far longer than cars have existed.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            heavy handle,
            The cost of the highway system has been largely covered by user/operator input.

            Plus the economic benefits far outweigh the benefits from EVs. The technolgy to create the Federal was also in place.

            Then add National security.

            There is no comparison between the investment in public infrastructure where everyone in a nation profited to a very few feel good middle class and rich profiting from EVs.

            Remember, even if you don’ t own a vehicle you still profited from the Federal highway system via reduced cost of goods and services.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Al,

            You may not realize this, being from Oz, but the electricity infrastructure already exists in the US.

            This “massive taxpayer handout” is a loan guarantee, presumably to be paid back by fees.

            It’s in the government’s best interest to encourage cheap and ecologically sound transportation because it encourages trade and labor mobility, and lowers costs. All Americans benefit in the long term, just like all Americans benefit from the interstate highway system, even if they never personally drive on it.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            My comment has little to do with whatever infratructure is in place.

            What I’m stating is the effort and money invested into EVs will not produce good returns.

            EVs are a massive waste of resources that could be better spent to reduce CO2 and other omissions.

            Only the fee will/are benefitting with massive investment. Even then this investment is driven by massive taxpayer handouts.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Comparatively speaking fossil fuel vehicles received SFA.”

          You mean not counting the trillions we’ve spent trying to secure a supply of fossil fuel, much of which is owned and surrounded by people who really want us to leave them, and their fuel, alone?

          Or the billions we’ve spent subsidizing the construction of infrastructure for mining and shipping fossil fuel?

          Next to that, building some electric infrastructure in-country looks like a small pothole repair project.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Fossil fuel vehicles are viable without massive handouts. They would be manufactured in countries where they can be competitive.

        Tee Shirts are then viable to be manufactured in the USA, just subsidise them and protect them like your pickups.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      >> The governments should tell these companies we are winding back support.

      With respect to the industry-wide federal tax credits for EV customers, that was built in. Once a manufacturer hits 200,000 EVs sold, a phase-out period begins.

      >> The reason is liquid energy is easier logistically.

      How is that so? It took massive amounts of infrastructure to make that happen, no different from electricity. We just take it for granted today because it’s been built out end-to-end for nearly a century. With EVs, the “last mile” was never done, but now it can be.

      It’s much like the Internet was in the 1990s. That got completed as well.

      >> Battery tech at the moment is only viable for Smart phones, laptops and cordless drills.

      And 500,000+ EVs, with many more to come.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        So instead of oil, a depleting resource, we’re going to also accelerate depletion of rare Earths.

        Who happens to have a large amount of RE deposits?

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/277268/rare-earth-reserves-by-country/

        http://metalpedia.asianmetal.com/metal/rare_earth/resources&production.shtml

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        healthy skeptic,
        There is one rather large hole in your argument.

        You don’t go home or business and drive it. Its stationary. You don’t require a battery either.

        Logistically electricity is limited, like all forms of energy they have their pros and cons. Electrcity just doesn’t have the mobility advantage. Even power trans mission is limited due to losses. Electrical mobility is inefficient, unless you generate it in “situ”.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      @Big Al from Oz:

      I’m no subsidy fan, but there is a business case to be made for the hidden benefits of operating EVs – lowered aggregate health care costs, less noise pollution, lower maintenance, increased safety, etc, which benefit the entire community.

      I think the hybrid subsidies dried up many years ago.

      Having leased a Leaf for 3 years, I can say the only “real costs” to operate it were my cheap electricity, and terrible depreciation (if I had actually purchased it).

      EVs are competing quite well given the market obstacles they face.
      http://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

      As for battery tech, I’ve never seen a cordless drill drive across the US in 58 hours, but a Tesla Model S has.
      http://jalopnik.com/alex-roy-and-two-members-of-the-tesla-record-team-just-1737911800

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        SCE to AUX,
        I don’t mind some assistance for industry.

        But, as I pointed out I view EVs similarly to public transport. The big difference between public transport and EVs is public transport is for the populace, whilst EVs are for the individual.

        Why should a middle class person be offered a handout? If you can’t afford it, then don’t buy it at my expense. Invest in a tiny fuel efficient car. This tiny car will most likely do less damage to the environment over the life of the vehicle.

        A user pay with no handouts or greatly reduced handouts should be offered to EV operators.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Hybrid subsidies and benefits went away long ago in most locales and guess what now more mfgs are offering them than when there were subsidies available. Yes sales are down from their peak thanks to low gas prices but they still sell pretty darn well. The drop in Pruis sales are more likely due to customers going blind looking at them so they can’t sign on the dotted line and the fact that there are way better options if you want a Hybrid and particularly if you don’t want to scream “I’M SAVING THE PLANET” and just want more effecient, lower maintenance transportation.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      ICE cars have been getting massive infrastructural support since 1915 or so. You have one note to sing on this, and it’s way off key.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

  • avatar
    carveman

    ” Here at this site, Solyndra expects to make enough solar panels each year to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. And over the lifetime of this expanded facility, that could be like replacing as many as eight coal-fired power plants ”

    BHO

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Thanks for the update, Captain Joseph “Exxon Valdez” Hazelwood. I was not aware that startups are prone to high aspirations.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Venture capitalists make bets on startups looking for a jackpot using their own money. So why are zee Feds giving our money to startups without what they believe to be “high aspirations”?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Would you like to buy any boondoggle keychains?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            What difference does it make?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You can argue that the US government should never invest in private companies, or R&D, or infrastructure, or anything for that matter. But if you want to argue that, please don’t use the internet, given that its origin.

            It’s weird how many of the people who are so opposed to funding new technology or infrastructure like Solyndra are so selective in their memories. They hate the idea of losing half a billion on Soyndra, but don’t seem to recall the $11 billion that went to GM.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Perhaps those people would have preferred to have not lost money on either venture.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Once again we’re back to the same old narrative control….Sorry mark, you may think it’s slander to point out TTAC has a hard-right bent, I think it’s just being honest.

    This is clearly the start of an aggressive new project, so the only major cities not covered are Phoenix, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville, Columbus, Miami, and Tampa. Everybody else is covered for the most part and they’ll be getting there. Still, they’ve got most of the top-50 cities in the US connected. Not a bad start at all. Plus, a number of the highways that connect those cities are much more rarely used compared to the connecting ones. This paves the way for EV Semis to charge as well. Once it’s there the development can happen.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m skeptical on the whole scheme. The “shovel ready” experience comes to mind. Hybrids are most definitely the near term future in my view (<25 years).

      "This paves the way for EV Semis"

      Come again?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Lexington, Orlando, Albuquerque, etc etc you missed a LOT of major cities there.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      I largely agree with you, but if you look at the map a few very key links are missing.

      I-10 and I-20 are missing, major west/east road connecting LA to Dallas to New Orleans to I-95.

      For that matter, I-95 south of Virginia is missing, leaving Miama disconnected.

      Big gaps in I-70 through Kansas and between Illinois and Maryland, a major East/West road connect San Francisco to Washington, DC.

      I-35 is missing north of Oklahoma, a major North/South route connecting the Mexican and Canadian borders, aka “NAFTA Superhighway”.

      Again, it’s a good start, but I am seeing some gaps that should be filled in sooner rather than later.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Sorry, but this makes as much sense as trying to build out your cell phone network in 1975. It sounds ambitious, but you just end up with a low-tech dinosaur.

      EVs are fine, but lithium ion batteries (at least in their present form) are not. It’s one thing to use them in personal electronics, it’s another for the car.

      If EVs are going to happen, then the power storage needs to be improved. Those improvements will in turn dictate what kind of charging network is needed. Since we don’t know what those will look like, we can’t prepare for them now.

      I think that it should be pretty clear that my politics haven’t led me to this position. I would much rather that the feds invest in research that improves the power storage than tax credits to sell cars that aren’t ready for prime time.

      If long-range, quick-charge EVs with reasonably priced power storage can be developed, then you won’t need a bottomless pit of subsidies to sell them. They will fly off the shelves and everyone will be making them.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    And the charging protocol is… NOT MENTIONED.

    It’s not the Tesla protocol, that’s for sure. Superchargers already have better coverage, and *that’s* how you promote EVs without waiting for someone else to do it for you.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Look, freedom is movement. They will take away your movement and they will control you. With gasoline you can load a pickup truck with canisters and circle US. tough times will come. Population will raise against gov. This happens historically. And if people force can’t react quickly [all they have to do is turn off the power], people are doomed. Then they will turn off the cell towers, then tv stations. You will be like astronaut lost in space.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    Hardly “Zero emission mobility”, since the electricity has to come from somewhere. Quite a bit of the electricity is generated by coal.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Less and less. There was a bit on the news earlier this year about how coal use and production has fallen off a cliff, mostly due to cheap natural gas and expanding renewables.

      The main point of the story was that some people believe that this trend can be stopped depending who they vote for. I guess we will all go back to coal-fired stoves soon! Progress!

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      But standardizing on grid power allows us to clean up the grid, and to optimize it for local environments. While a big and expensive project, that’s still cheap compared to replacing the entire transportation infrastructure multiple times.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      In the USA, even a 100% coal powered EV has about the same pollution profile as a Prius, and the coal is mined domestically. So I’m OK even with that worst-case scenario.

  • avatar
    5280thinair

    I’m guessing that these corridors required some cooperation from the States, otherwise it’s hard to understand how the map ended up like this. For instance, Highway 50 in Nevada is shown while that’s a very lightly traveled road. Meanwhile, the interstates in Arizona and New Mexico have zero signage coverage.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    It would be nice to know the criteria used to pick these routes. It’s hard to imagine it’s traffic volume, since some heavily-traveled routes are not covered, e.g. I-95 south of Richmond, Va. and I-70 west of Winchester, Va.

    Certainly, the need for charging stations is an obstacle to the inter-urban use of EVs. But the other obstacle is the time required to charge the vehicle. Tesla seems to have recognized that. The fact is that charging time is included in a person’s total travel time from point A to point B. That’s why, in the post-9/11 world, whenever I need to go to New York City, I take the train. Even though the airplane travels much faster, the total travel time for me includes the need to arrive at the airport an hour before departure and the time it takes to get from LGA by cab to Manhattan, not to mention the risk of air congestion delays. I can get to the train station in DC in about the same time it takes to get to Reagan National, but I don’t have to be at that station an hour plus before departure; and Penn Station is right in midtown Manhattan. Moreover, the Acela train is quite reliably on schedule. Hell, I could be at a court hearing in Brooklyn (!) at 9:30, taking the train from DC and the New York subway from Penn Station, which is a lot faster in Manhattan than a cab or Uber.

    Back in the good ol’ daze, I always flew the Eastern Shuttle, or New York air to get to NYC. One or the other of them ran every half hour and you could just walk on the plane and they’d sell you a ticket. 45 minutes flying time and you’re at LGA.
    The old Metroliner was a bit slower than the Acela, but the real difference was being able to fly on a plane that was operated like a city bus: get on and pay the fare.

    So, if someone who does a lot of intercity travel in a car is comparing an electric car with a fossil-fuel powered car, they’re going to have to calculate the extra time (and, perhaps, frequency) required to charge the EV, as opposed to gassing up the ICE car. After all, once they’re on the road, the EVs aren’t (yet) going to be allowed to go faster than the ICE-powered vehicles. Having spent about 10 months traveling around the west pulling a 27-foot travel trailer, I can tell you that a 200 or so mile range ain’t that great when you’re looking to cover big distances. That was about the range of my truck, with a comfortable margin for error, etc., when pulling the trailer. My wife and I never planned for much more than 300-mile days. Of course, I limited my speed to about 60 or the speed limit, whichever was lower.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      While I can’t say about the other areas I5 is pretty much covered already so I’m guessing they picked areas that only needed a station or two to be able to loudly claim that route was successfully completed. (only slightly late and slightly over budget.

      You certainly are correct that you need to figure the charging time into your total trip time. I remember one time when a bunch of us were traveling from the Seattle area to Portland. The guys in the Leaf left earlier, we caught up to them at the charging station across the street from the burger joint where they were already finished eating and waiting for enough charge to complete the trip. Of course we got to Portland earlier.

  • avatar

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/plus-ca-charge-electric-touring/

    1914 guide to charging stations on the Lincoln Highway:
    http://i2.wp.com/www.sociabilityrun.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/EVLH-475.jpg

  • avatar
    derekson

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You’ve mastered gov’t thinking. You’ll go far.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      False dichotomy.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      I suspect you lack direct experience with actual third-world roads.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I’ve seen figures that put milling and repaving a mile of 4 lane highway at $1.25 million. Another source puts the cost of a level 3 charging station installed at an average of $22k. Using those numbers, that’s about 57 level 3 stations for a mile of highway repaving (using those numbers). Putting level 3 stations 50 miles apart, you could cover 2,850 miles of highway. New York to LA is 2,791 miles. Again, I don’t trust those figures. I just did some quick google searches for the costs.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      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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