Nevada's 'Electric Highway' Shifting to Phase II

Credit: Pexels/Quintin Gellar, Pixabay/Geralt

While not actually a highway in which vehicles are propelled by electric rails, the Nevada Electric Highway (NEH) is a vision launched in 2016, with the publication of "Nevada's Strategic Planning Framework: Generations to Come - 2016-2020" to provide electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the state's busiest highways.

The NEH is a partnership between the Governor's Office of Energy, NV Energy, and Valley Electric Association. The plan is to outfit selected highways in the state with EV charging stations at cost-effective and strategic locations throughout the designated highway system. The ultimate goal is to complete an "electric highway" system serving the entire state by 2020. Currently, the project is being coordinated by the Governor's Office of Energy, the Nevada Department of Transportation, the state's electric utilities, and private commercial host sites.

Phase I, which was recently completed, focused on a 438-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 95 between Reno and Las Vegas. Each location on that stretch of highway has been outfitted with two Level 2 chargers and one direct current (DC) fast charger.

Phase II, just underway, will include Interstate 15, Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 93, and U.S. Highway 50.

Credit: Nevada Governor's Office of Energy
Credit: Nevada Governor's Office of Energy

This is only part of the overall plan in western states, though. In late 2017, Nevada joined six other states (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming) as signatories of the Regional Electric Vehicle (REV) West Plan.

The REV West Plan spans over 5,000 miles of highway across 11 Interstate highways. In announcing the plan, the governors noted, "With more than 20,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids already on the roads in western states, the electrification of these major corridors is expected to reduce range anxiety and drive further adoption of EVs, while transforming the market to allow smaller communities to plug into the regional system."

The plan also creates minimum standards for EV charging stations, including standards for administration, interoperability, operations and management. It also identifies opportunities for incorporating the EV charging station infrastructure into planning and development processes, including building codes, metering policies and renewable energy generation projects.

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