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4 additional utilities join Midwestern coalition to build EV charging network

Four additional utilities with service territories in nine Midwestern and Great Plains states are joining an effort launched last year by a coalition of six other utilities to build out an electric vehicle charging station network by the end of 2022.

Ameren Corp. started the initial effort in September 2020, and announced the new participants on March 16, saying their addition will help establish a network of EV charging infrastructure covering about 1,200 miles from Detroit to Colorado.

Initial participants include Ameren subsidiaries Ameren Illinois Co. and Union Electric Co. doing business as Ameren Missouri; CMS Energy Corp. subsidiary Consumers Energy Co.; DTE Energy Co.; Evergy Inc.; and OGE Energy Corp. subsidiary Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co.

New participants are Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. subsidiary Empire District Electric Co. doing business as Liberty Utilities; Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary MidAmerican Energy Co.; Duke Energy Corp. subsidiaries Duke Energy Indiana, LLC, Duke Energy Kentucky Inc. and Duke Energy Ohio Inc.; and Midwest Energy Inc., a Kansas electric cooperative.

The automotive industry expects EV adoption to grow from 1.5 million vehicles to 18.7 million vehicles by 2030, according to an Ameren-issued press release, which will require an estimated 9.6 million public charging stations. Currently, there are only about 100,000 stations in service.

Earlier in March, another collaboration among six primarily southeastern U.S. utilities, including American Electric Power Co. Inc., Dominion Energy Inc., Duke Energy's North and South Carolina operations, Entergy Corp., Southern Co. and the Tennessee Valley Authority, announced plans to build a charging network along major highways within and between their service territories.