U.S. Department of Transportation Designates Electric Vehicles Corridors in the Transportation and Climate Initiative Region
Several major interstate highways in the Transportation and Climate Initiative region, including I-95, I-91 and I-87, were designated as “alternative-fuel corridors” by the U.S. Department of Transportation, recognizing the state support for electric vehicles (EV) in the region and setting the stage for the expansion of electric vehicle travel in the northeast and mid-Atlantic.
The designation will strengthen the efforts of northeast states, which created the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network five years ago. Already, more than 300 DC Fast Chargers and 2500 Level 2 charging stations are publicly available in the region.
“Designating these highways as electric vehicle corridors will make it easier for people to drive electric vehicles from Maine to DC and everywhere in between,” said Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, which facilitates the Northeast EV Network and other transportation activities in the region through the Transportation and Climate Initiative.
Highways in the TCI region designated as zero-emission corridors today are as follows:
- I-95: From Augusta, Maine to Washington, DC.
- I-91: From Norwich, Vermont to New Haven, Connecticut.
- I-87: From New York City to Lake George, New York.
- I-89: From Lebanon, New Hampshire to Burlington, Vermont.
- I-90: From Boston, Massachusetts to Albany, New York; segments in New York from Syracuse to Utica and from Bowmansville to the Pennsylvania border.
- I-93: From Vermont to Braintree, Massachusetts.
- I-84: From Middletown New York to the Connecticut/Massachusetts border.
- I-70: From Baltimore, Maryland to Hagerstown, Maryland.
I-270 (Maryland): Entire length of corridor.
US-50: From Washington, DC border to Ocean City, Maryland.
I-395: From Waterford, Connecticut to Connecticut/Massachusetts border.
I-76: From Pennsylvania/Ohio border to Hunker, Pennsylvania and from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania to Philadelphia.
I-276: From the western start of I-76 to Pennsylvania/New Jersey border.
I-476: From Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania to intersection with I-95.
The corridor designation is expected to both accelerate private investment in electric vehicle infrastructure and bring additional federal support to the region in the future. Vermont Secretary of Transportation Chris Cole said “this larger regional corridor designation will benefit the entire Northeast by highlighting the main thoroughfares through our region where public and private investments in alternative fuels are being directed.
All states in the region submitted applications to nominate corridors for designation, and state agencies from all 12 TCI jurisdictions [CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, and VT] endorsed a joint letter of support for the corridor nominations. The designated corridors include major interstate highways to promote long-distance electric vehicle travel throughout the region, as well as key tourism routes to allow electric vehicle drivers to reach beaches, ski resorts, and other destinations.
Several state officials issued statements highlighting the importance of the corridor designation to state and regional efforts to promote electric vehicles.
Vermont Secretary of Transportation Chris Cole said “The State of Vermont and the Province of Quebec established the Electric Vehicle Green Corridor in 2012 to highlight and direct activities in the public and private sectors supporting the use of alternative fuels. This larger regional corridor designation will benefit the entire Northeast by highlighting the main thoroughfares through our region where public and private investments in alternative fuels are being directed. This is one of many steps we are taking as a region to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel use.”
Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York and Matthew Driscoll, Commissioner, New York State Department of Transportation said, “"We're proud New York is one of the inaugural states to participate in the U.S. Department of Transportation's Alternative Fuels Corridor, cementing our leadership in combating climate change with innovative clean energy policies. Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s leadership, New York continues to develop transportation improvements that enhance mobility, increase highway safety and improve the environment, including building more than 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations across the state to support the state’s goal of reducing emissions 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels."
Craig A. Wright, Director of the Air Resources Division at New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services said “The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is very pleased by the designation of a comprehensive electric vehicle charging corridor throughout the mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Our states are already leaders in clean transportation efforts and the corridor designation will help us build upon the progress already made in New Hampshire and throughout the region. Increased use of electric vehicles will help to reduce air pollution and the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.”
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control stated “The FAST Act Clean Corridor designation is a big success for clean transportation across the region, and Delaware is excited to be a part of this network. Delawareans are embracing electric vehicles, with almost 300 new vehicles purchased in the last year and a half through a resounding response to our rebate program for electric vehicles and charging stations. We’ve also been working with private partners and the Delaware Department of Transportation to install electric vehicle and clean fuel infrastructure across the state, with about $1 million in grants designated to these projects. As a small state, it’s important for us to work with neighboring states to create a network that goes beyond borders. The Clean Corridor designation is a stepping stone toward making electric and alternative fuel vehicles a viable option for every driver. By working with states and partners on building this network and reducing range anxiety, TCI is allowing drivers to confidently choose alternative fuel vehicles, reducing greenhouse gas emissions for a healthier today and tomorrow.”
R. Earl Lewis, Jr., Deputy Secretary for Policy, Planning, & Enterprise Services at the Maryland Department of Transportation said, “The Maryland Department of Transportation is very excited about the news that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration has designated 462 miles of Maryland highways as Alternative Fuel / Electric Vehicle Corridors. This designation is another great step forward to give drivers the confidence to count on their electric and alternative fuel vehicles for short and long trips. Having electric vehicle corridors in every corner of our state from I-70 in Western Maryland to US 50 all the way to Ocean City will provide great value to Maryland citizens and businesses as the public and private sector work together to expand this infrastructure. Working with our federal, state and regional partners, we can make Maryland's electric vehicle deployment and greenhouse gas reduction goals a reality.”