- Alternative fueling and charging corridors will soon be part of a new network created by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Fifty-five electric, natural gas, hydrogen, and propane fuel routes will become available for drivers of non-gasoline vehicles, Trucking Info reported Monday.
- The new corridors span 35 states and Washington, D.C. Forty-eight out of 55 routes will be designated as electric-vehicle friendly, where drivers can recharge at either existing or planned stations every 50 miles.
- Currently, the corridor is divided into 2 categories: those with enough fueling facilities to fairly display a sign, and those that plan to do so soon.
The promise of alternative fuel vehicles has long been stigmatized by the lack of recharge/refill power sources available, making what should be an emissions-reducing option more of a daydream than a reality.
It should be noted that electric vehicles are not limited to consumer cars — electric trucks are available, but adoption was largely unsustainable. Now, with a well-marked route system, that promise can become less of a fantasy. The routes chosen mirror the most traveled and well-utilized trade routes within the country.
The announcement follows a 2015 directive that pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% or more by 2050. Yet, despite increasing environmental concerns, the declining price of oil spurred U.S. drivers to consume nearly 72 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016 alone, marking a 3% increase over the same period a year earlier and the largest percentage increase in nearly two decades.
As a result, the highway administration noted the time to encourage safe, reliable charging stations for alternative fuel vehicles is "now."