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Major Network of EV Fast Chargers Coming to Midwest

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Midwest EV chargers
Photo: General Motors

Thanks to a joint effort by at least six energy providers, a large network of fast chargers for electric vehicles could soon span the Midwest.

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So far, providers taking part in this initiative include Michigan-based Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, Ameren Illinois, Ameren Missouri, Evergy (which provides service in Missouri and Kansas), and Oklahoma Gas and Energy. More energy companies could join soon.

The goal is to have these new fast-charging stations up and running by 2022. Coalition members note, though, that construction is still subject to regulatory approval in each state.

“Expanding the use of electricity in transportation saves customers money, improves the environment by reducing emissions, and enhances quality of life for everyone,” said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, an association that represents American utility providers. “By deploying charging infrastructure and accelerating electric transportation, EEI’s member companies … are working together to build a cleaner and stronger economy for the future.”

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Midwest EV chargers
Photo: (Joenomias) Menno de Jong via Pixabay

Many of the participating providers have already been focusing their efforts on other clean-energy initiatives. These include modernizing the power grid, electrifying company fleets, and offering rebates for home charging stations.

EVs are a fast-growing automotive segment. More than 1.4 million are on the roads today, according to the Edison Electric Institute. With 130 new EV models in the pipeline over the next few years, that number could approach 20 million by the end of the decade. However, fast-charging stations aren’t particularly widespread yet, with only about 100,000 available across the U.S.

Devoting resources toward the Midwest’s charging infrastructure could make EVs more convenient to operate for existing owners. Building a larger network of fast chargers could also help ease range anxiety for potential EV customers who are worried that their battery will run out on long-distance drives and strand them far away from a charging station.