The U.S. federal government will designate 48 routes as electric charging corridors to allow coast-to-coast travel and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, the White House said Thursday.
The routes—determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation—will cover 25,000 miles in 35 states. Electric vehicles owners should expect access to a charging within 50 miles along those corridors. The Federal Highway Administration will develop streamlined signage to point drivers in the right direction across the country.
The administration has enlisted a slew of public and private partners to support the establishment of the corridors, including car manufacturers like BMW, Nissan and General Motors and utilities including Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. The federal government announced $4.5 billion in loan guarantees to support new charging stations earlier this year.
The initiative builds on a number of efforts by President Obama to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, a key part of his aim to tackle climate change. Obama announced new fuel economy standards during his first term designed to push automakers to build more efficient gas-powered vehicles and to move eventually toward electric vehicles. A new report this week from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that passenger vehicles achieved the best-ever fuel economy standards last year for the fourth year in a row.