ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NATSO, which represents America's travel plazas and truck stops, and ChargePoint are marking "significant progress" in the first year of the National Highway Charging Collaborative.
Launched in February 2020, the National Highway Charging Collaborative is an initiative that will leverage $1 billion in public and private capital to deploy electric vehicle (EV) charging at more than 4,000 travel plazas and fuel stops serving highway travelers and rural communities nationwide by 2030, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
In its first year, the public-private collaborative funded more than 150 Washington, D.C., fast charging spots with additional access to more than 1,500 publicly available fast charging spots for consumers on ChargePoint's existing network.
"Together with ChargePoint, we are harnessing the nation's vast fuel retailing network to ensure that drivers of electric vehicles have a reliable place to fuel," said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. "In order for consumers to move to EVs, they need to be confident that they will be able to refuel as reliably as they do today. With thousands of established locations crisscrossing the nation, the private sector will ensure that drivers of electric-powered cars will not suffer from range anxiety. We are well suited to efficiently meet customer demand for electricity while providing the amenities and safe experience that they have come to expect as they refuel."
The collaborative continues to aggressively scale its efforts, expecting to reach $1 billion in investments by 2030. This is in line with the expected arrival rate of dozens of new EV models. The National Highway Charging Collaborative is increasing access to EV charging along highways and in rural North America by filling infrastructure gaps along the National Highway System, including along the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) designated alternative fuel corridors. The FHWA also highlights the National Highway Charging Collaborative as part of its Alternative Fuel Corridors Best Practices.
The initiative also advocates for public policies that are designed to create a business case for off-highway fuel retailers to invest in EV charging infrastructure. In those jurisdictions, the initiative continues to identify an increasing number of public and private funding sources available to support the expansion of EV charging at strategically determined locations.
"ChargePoint's ongoing effort to significantly expand access to charging across cities, rural communities, and along highways is core to our mission and the collaboration with NATSO is already making significant progress toward that goal," said Colleen Jansen, chief marketing officer, ChargePoint. "The National Highway Collaborative is poised to be one of the nation's foremost examples of how partnerships can be designed to scale vital charging infrastructure.
"The progress to date has created the foundation for the scaling of fast charging to support long-distance electric travel and enable fast charging in urban and rural communities as a complement to the buildout of level 2 charging nationwide," she added. "The buildout of charging is expected to increase in the coming years in line with dozens of new EV models anticipated to hit North American roads as the shift to electrification takes hold."
Bloomberg NEF estimates EVs will make up 10 percent of all vehicles sold by 2025 and increase to more than 29 percent by 2030. With more than $11 million of public and private funding leveraged to date as part of the collaborative, new fast charge sites are connecting rural communities and enabling long distance electric travel across more than eight states including California, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, and Washington.
The collaborative has attracted support from some of the nation's most prominent travel plaza, convenience store and truck stop brands, including Kum & Go; Donna's Travel Plaza; Love's Travel Stops and Trillium, its alternative and renewable fuel provider; and the Iowa 80 Group.
"Kum & Go is looking to the future with electric vehicle charging," said Ken Kleemeier, vice president, fuels at Kum & Go. "The marketplace is moving in this direction, and Kum & Go is putting the infrastructure in place to ensure that we are ahead of the curve."
To date, more than 90 million charging sessions have been delivered, with drivers plugging into the ChargePoint network approximately every two seconds. The company is headquartered in Campbell, Calif.
Alexandria-based NATSO is the only national trade association representing the travel plaza and truckstop industry. It advances the industry's interests on highway issues such as commercialization, tolling and truck parking and represents the industry on environmental and energy issues.