A cross-country route that allows electric vehicle (EV) drivers to travel from coast to coast using the largest open DC fast-charging network in the United States is now complete.
The route is part of Electrify America’s $2 billion investment into charging infrastructure, education and access. It travels along Interstates 15 and 70, spanning 11 states and more than 2,700 miles to take drivers from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. High-powered chargers can be found, on average, about 70 miles apart in metro areas and near highway routes located near shopping and dining amenities.
“Electrify America’s primary goal has always been to advance electric vehicle adoption in the United States, and that starts by instilling feelings of confidence and freedom in consumers when it comes to EV ownership,” said Anthony Lambkin, director of operations at Electrify America. “The completion of our first cross-country route is a significant step toward that goal. By making long-distance travel in an EV a reality, we hope to encourage more consumers to make the switch to electric.”
Minnesota, which currently has about 30 DC fast chargers available, has also set its sights on building out more EV infrastructure with part of its share of the Volkswagen settlement funds. The state is leading by example by spending the maximum amount allowed under terms of the settlement (15%) on zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.
As part of Phase I of the project, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) awarded ZEF Energy $1.7 million to install 22 DC fast-charging stations and several level 2 chargers at sites along major highways outside of the Twin Cities metro area. The fast-charging stations will be installed over the next two years in cities such as Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Willmar, Marshall, Rochester, Mankato and Albert Lea.
For Phase II, which is underway now through 2023, the state has allocated $3.525 million to go toward charging infrastructure. The MPCA plans to award a grant to build out 43 additional DC fast chargers that will significantly increase the number of highways routes with access to DC fast charging.
A fast-charger highway corridor from the Twin Cities to the North Shore is already in place for EV drivers.
To date, Electrify America has more than 435 operational charging stations with over 1,900 DC fast chargers, and another 100-plus sites in development. By the end of 2021, Electrify America plans to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 DC fast chargers.
To locate a charger near you or map out a trip, visit plugshare.com.