Nevada 'Electric Highway' to let EVs cross state

June 17, 2015 // By Rich Pell
Nevada is looking to create an "electric highway" along a major highway that traverses the state from north to south that would consist of a network of charging stations for electric vehicles.

Planned along U.S. Route 95 , the Nevada Electric Highway would allow electric vehicle (EV) owners to be able to drive and charge their vehicles when traveling between the cities of Reno and Las Vegas - a 450-mile sparsely populated, mostly desert route. The plan was unveiled by Gov. Brian Sandoval and state public utility NV Energy, who are looking for business and municipal partners along the highway to join in on the project.

"This Electric Highway will allow electric vehicle drivers to power their cars by tapping into Nevada’s own renewable energy resources," said Sandoval. "This will strengthen our state’s energy independence while reducing Nevada's petroleum imports."

The initiative will include direct current fast chargers, which allow for charging a vehicle in less than an hour, as well as "level 2" chargers, which can require several hours for a full charge. Once the locations of the charging stations are determined, funding assistance will be provided to install one fast charger and two additional ports for level 2 charging in selected cities.

NV Energy will provide an up-front cost abatement payment to help the host acquire, permit, install, own and maintain the EV charging stations, which must be compatible with the ChargePoint network - the world's largest network of EV charging stations. Under the plan, host sites must agree to let consumers use the charging stations at no charge for at least five years and make them available for 24 hours a day.

Currently, Nevada has about 1,400 registered electric vehicles and about 150 charging stations installed to date. The state is also working with Tesla Motors - whose giant lithium-ion battery "Gigafactory" is being built outside of Reno - to help increase the number of Tesla fast chargers in the state as well.

NV Energy Nevada Electric Highway information page