The West Coast has wasted no time building electric vehicle corridors, but so far the Northeast has lagged behind on electric car infrastructure, especially considering the size of the population there. Luckily, the lagging behind will soon end. A new regional initiative called the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network will bring together 11 states plus Washington, D.C. to build an electric car charging network. The network plans to bring hundreds of chargers online over the next couple of years to encourage adoption of EVs in the region.
The states participating are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Maine will be represented on a city level instead of statewide. The states will team up with automakers, both large retailers and small shops and charging network companies to work on placing charging stations in the most convenient locations.
Out of the 15,000 EVs currently on the road in the U.S., surprisingly only about 1,000 of them are in the Northeast. These states want to encourage more EV use not just for environmental reasons, but also because it will save them money. The Northeast imports about 25 billion gallons of oil each year, so if all-electric vehicles replaced just 5 percent of conventional ones, the region could save $4.6 billion every year. I'd call that a win-win.
If President Obama's call for one million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015 comes to fruition, based on population, about 200,000 will be hitting Northeastern roads. Good thing those drivers will have a place to charge up.
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