Nevada is electrifying the desert U.S. Route 95 that connects Reno and Las Vegas by lining it with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Governor Brian Sandoval and NV Energy announced this new project on Tuesday. They’re calling it the Nevada Electric Highway and once completed it will be just that with EV drivers able to travel the over 400 mile route with charging stops all along the way.
“We’ve all driven this road before and have anxiety (even) with getting gas. Now we can have confidence to charge our electric vehicles and drive them from place to place,” says Sandoval.
Currently, there are 150 charging stations in the state with the majority in Reno and Las Vegas. The new project will add five more by November along the route. The state is still seeking out host businesses along the route, hoping to add stations in Fallon, Hawthorne, Tonopah, and Indian Springs.
“This Electric Highway will allow electric vehicle drivers to power their cars by tapping into Nevada’s own renewable energy resources. This will strengthen our state’s energy independence while reducing Nevada’s petroleum imports,” says Sandoval.
EV stations cost anywhere from $6,000 to $30,000 however, host businesses don’t have to pay for the installation. Station construction is being funded by the utility company with abatement money from the state’s Office of Energy. All potential hosts have to do is be open 24/7 all year, have a safe area for the stations to operate, and offer free charging for at least five years.
Since January, the state has seen a 200 percent increase in the use of state charging stations. The ones along the route will offer two levels of charging the first being an AC system with Level-2 charging ports that takes several hours to fully charge. The second is a Direct Current (DC) fast charging system that takes about an hour.
“This is a big deal for us to be able to invite visitors who are going to be using this type of transportation. The moment they cross that state line, to have that complete confidence that no matter where they are in our great state, they’ll be able to charge their vehicles,” says Sandoval.
Currently, there are about 1,400 registered EVs in the state. However, Tesla is opening its EV battery “Gigafactory” outside of Reno. It’s costing $5 billion and will generate around 6,500 jobs once completed.
Nevada businesses interested in joining the project can check out the Nevada Electric Highway site. Applications are due by July 10th.