Eight states have signed on to a new effort to make the western part of the United States more compatible with electric vehicles (EVs).
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), EV drivers don't believe that their cars are suited for life out west where metropolitan areas are connected by large swaths of interstate highway. To ease the tension, governors from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming signed a memorandum of understanding at the 2017 Energy Innovation Summit. The DOE is helping to coordinate the effort.
As part of the REV West Plan, the states will begin development on a plan to support 20,000 EVs and hybrids along 7,000 miles of interstate. The investment should help boost the number of electric vehicles and hybrids on the road.
According to a recent study by M.J. Bradley & Associates, Colorado has 7,600 plug-in EVs on the road right now. By 2025, with moderate growth, that number could grow to 349,000. By 2050, the state could see up to 1.6 million EVs on the roads. Hopefully, as part of this new initiative, drivers will be able to make it from Denver to Helena without worrying about running out of juice — but they might need to increase the scope of the project to meet projected increases in market adoption.
According to Forbes, EVs will make up 65% of the light-duty vehicle market by 2050. That is as long as the cost of batteries continues to decline, automakers remain invested in the technology, and state and local governments continue to support the technology.