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In a recent news, FirstEnergy Corporation joins the Electric Highway Coalition. EHC is a group of electric companies formed in March 2021, devoted to enabling long-distance electric vehicle (EV) travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.
Electric Highway Coalition (EHC) comprises of many of the nation’s leading utilities in 29 states and the District of Columbia serving more than 60 million customers. The Members of EHC are American Electric Power, AVANGRID, Consolidated Edison, DTE Energy, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Eversource Energy, Exelon, FirstEnergy, ITC Holdings Corp., National Grid, Southern Company and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
All the members of EHC are devoted towards some goals. These goals are growing EV charging solutions within their service territories and collaborating to ensure efficient and effective fast-charging deployment plans that enable long-distance EV travel, avoid duplication among coalition utilities and complement existing fast-charging sites.
Meghan Beringer, FirstEnergy’s director of Emerging Technologies Strategy, said, “We look forward to working with the members of the Electric Highway Coalition to support a network of stations that provides convenient fast-charging options for EV drivers as they travel across major regions of the country. Joining the EHC will help expand our ability to provide customers with opportunities to utilize electric vehicles in their everyday lives.”
As a report by the Edison Electric Institute, there will be nearly 18 million EVs on U.S. roads. The problem here is many drivers understands the importance of driving an EV, but some of the drivers are worried regarding the availability of charging stations during long drives. Collectively, the EHC members are addressing this “range anxiety” and showing customers that EVs are a smart choice regardless of their drive hours.
To support the expansion of EV infrastructure, FirstEnergy is in constant discussion with regulators and legislators in the state. Entities like FirstEnergy are uniquely positioned as utilities know the electrical grid better than other entities and this ensures EV programs are effective from an operational and cost view for consumers.
Potomac Edison (subsidiary of FirstEnergy) installed its first fast-charging stations ‘Direct-current fast chargers (DCFC)’, in its Maryland service area earlier this year. It take less than an hour to charge 80% via Fast-charging stations.
The new stations are part of Potomac Edison’s EV Driven pilot program, a five-year Maryland Public Service Commission-approved program designed to benefit the state’s environment by reducing auto emissions. This will also support Maryland’s goal to reach 300,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Potomac Edison will install 59 charging stations during the program, which comprise of 20 fast-charging stations, across its Maryland territory.
The company is now taking necessary steps to electrify its own vehicle fleet, and earlier announced that the company’s purchases of new aerial and light duty trucks will either be electric or hybrid. This transition is a part of FirstEnergy’s larger efforts to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the country and support electrification of vehicles in its six-state service area.