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Oct 21, 2023

A U.S.-Canada electric-vehicle corridor stretching from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Quebec City in Canada with direct-current fast chargers installed about every 50 miles is in the works.

On Tuesday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Canadian Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra along with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced the Binational Electric Vehicle Corridor, which centers on Michigan as a primary state for U.S.-Canadian travel. The two countries have agreed to common standards for chargers and to develop an alternative fuel corridor between the two nations.

"There's nothing more Pure Michigan than accidentally driving into Canada, and now that journey will be electric on either side of the border," Whitmer said. "I am proud that we are working together to build up electric-vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. With the resources headed our way from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the bold investments Michigan automakers are making right here in Michigan, we will build and lead the future of mobility."

The Biden administration wants electric vehicles to represent 50% of all new vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2030 and has a goal of 500,000 EV chargers installed across America to help cut fuel emissions 50% by 2030. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act provide public dollars to help achieve the goals. Private companies have stepped up with new investments in EV charging and related technologies. Volta Inc., which was acquired by Shell this year, offers a data analysis platform designed to help local governments decide where to install EV chargers.

To alleviate so-called range anxiety that's preventing some consumers from purchasing EVs, Polar Power has developed a portable EV charger that fits in the back of a pickup truck and can be brought to stranded EV drivers on the highway. Meanwhile, EV charger companies like FreeWire are installing chargers at fuel stations and convenience stores. Many report a backlog of orders as they work to keep up with growing demand.

Trade organizations representing branded fuel retailers want more fuel alternatives to petroleum-based gasoline, such as biofuels, along with EV chargers. Some convenience-store executives also are supporting the move to diversified energy options.

Canada is also helping to pave the way for EVs.

"Canada and the United States have built the world's largest market-based energy-trading relationship, which provides a firm foundation as we strive to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions," said Canada's Transport Minister Alghabra. This first cross-border alternative fuel corridor will help drivers to travel across the border and charge or refuel worry-free. It contributes to bringing us another step closer to making our air cleaner while helping people save money on traditional fuels."

In Canada, one in 10 new vehicles purchased is a zero-emission vehicle, according to a news release on the Binational EV Corridor.

In March, President Biden visited Prime Minister Trudeau in Canada and the two agreed to EV-charging standards and the development of cross-border alternative fuel corridors.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said he foresees new jobs being created to in manufacturing of EVs and EV charging stalls.

"With historic investments in EV infrastructure from the Biden-Harris Administration and the Canadian government, we are creating a new generation of good-paying manufacturing jobs, making it possible for drivers everywhere to reap the benefits and savings of these vehicles while helping us fight climate change," Buttigieg said.

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