- NV Energy and the State of Nevada are partnering on a new electric vehicle charging project along U.S. 95 from Reno to Las Vegas, the Reno Gazette Journal reports.
- The utility and state government are soliciting interest from businesses and other entities along the route to host EV chargers. The hope is that expanded access to charging infrastructure between the state's two major urban centers will decrease range anxiety associated with EV ownership and lead to its fuller adoption.
- NV Energy says the Nevada Electric Highway joint initiative, as the program is called, is the next phase in expanding its four year effort to expand EV infrastructure. Currently, most EV chargers are located in the state's most densely populated areas.
Utilities are uniquely positioned to assist the buildout in electric vehicle infrastructure, and NV Energy's partnership with Nevada is another example of how they are increasingly partnering with the public sector and other businesses to stimulate EV adoption.
The utility and state say they are now accepting applications for businesses, government entities, and other institutions that would like to host charging stations along the highway from Las Vegas to Reno. Once selected, the entity would have one fast charger and two slower, "level 2" chargers installed on their premises. The Governor's Office of Energy will develop a program to reduce demand charges from those institutions chosen to host chargers.
Widespread adoption of electric vehicles could be a huge boon for electric utilities across the nation, many of which have been struggling with stagnant or sluggish load growth since the 2008 recession. Speaking at a recent conference for investor-owned utilities, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk predicted that electric demand could double or even triple in some places as EVs are more widely adopted throughout the century. They key, he and utility executives told the audience, will be power companies acting quickly to build out charging infrastructure, lest it be lost to a third-party provider.
Utility partnerships with the public sector are becoming more common. At the same conference as the Nevada announcement, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz announced a memorandum of understanding between his department and the utility industry committing themselves to collaboration on EV charging expansion and widespread adoption.