The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently announced the development of a national network of alternative fuel and electric charging corridors as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Parts of 55 routes spanning 35 states will be designed to accommodate one or more alternative fuel vehicles, including electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas. Forty-eight of these routes totaling approximately 25,000 miles will support electric vehicles specifically. The network will continue to develop as more charging stations are built.
North Carolina is going to have two highways with designated electric vehicle corridors. I-40 will have corridors from Raleigh to Hickory and from Black Mountain to Asheville, and I-85 will have one from Raleigh to Gastonia. These corridors will provide access to public Level 2 or DC Fast Charge stations that are 5 miles from the highway, with 50 miles between stations. There are pending plans to connect the I-40 corridor between Hickory and Black Mountain and extend the I-85 corridor from Gastonia to the South Carolina border.
With the growth of electric vehicles, these corridors will allow drivers to more easily find charging options and should reduce range anxiety. They will be equipped with road signs signaling where drivers can charge – just like current signs point out gas stations, restaurants, and lodging locations. This announcement is another positive step in promoting electric transportation and connecting our charging networks across the country.