The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a map today showing 55 routes across the U.S. for charging plug-in vehicles and refueling alternative fuel vehicles.
The national network of “alternative fuel” corridors spans 35 states and covers nearly 85,000 miles, according the U.S. Department of Transportation’s FHWA. More miles will be added to the network to accommodate electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas vehicles as more alternative fueling and charging stations are built.
“Alternative fuels and electric vehicles will play an integral part in the future of America’s transportation system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in the press release. “We have a duty to help drivers identify routes that will help them refuel and recharge those vehicles and designating these corridors on our highways is a first step.”
The corridor routes will be seeing signs posted similar to what’s been typical on highways for years alerting drivers to upcoming gas stations, food, and lodging. Corridors designated as “sign-ready” with alternative fuel stations currently in operation will be eligible to feature new signs alerting drivers about available stations.
The designation of these corridors fulfills a directive in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act, which was enacted in December 2015. Specific fuels were designated by Congress in the FAST Act. In July, Secretary Foxx put the alternative fuel station provision in motion by calling on states to nominate national plug-in electrified vehicle charging and hydrogen, propane, and natural gas fueling corridors along major highways.
You can view an Alternative Fuel Corridors resources page that includes a map showing each of the charging and fueling networks. For those planning a cross country trip in an electric car, there’s only one route crossing the Great Plains with Highway 70 bridging between Utah and Colorado. Charging station routes are concentrated in the Northeast, East Coast, Great Lakes region, Texas, and the West Coast. There will be 48 designated charging routes in the new corridor.
Compressed natural gas will have corridors very similar to the PEV charging networks. Hydrogen fueling routes will be concentrated in California, Colorado, the Midwest, and the Northeast.
Supporting lower-emission vehicles and alternative fuel corridors will help the U.S. meet its 2015 pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050. FHWA reports that U.S. drivers consumed nearly 72 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016 – a 3 percent increase over the same period a year earlier and the largest percentage increase in nearly two decades.