TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - More electric car charging stations could be coming to Terre Haute in the near future. Six energy companies across the United States are banding together to develop the Electric Highway Coalition to make this a reality.
Duke Energy is among the energy companies partnering to make this happen. The network will stretch across 16 states in the Midwest and South and that includes right here in the Wabash Valley.
News 10 spoke with Lew Middleton of Duke Energy. He says last year, Duke Energy proposed a pilot electric vehicle charging program to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. It was turned down. Middleton says this was in large part due to the lack of statewide policy for developing electric vehicle projects. However, there is now legislation to try and create that structure in front of the Indiana General Assembly. From there, the Regulatory Commission could act on the plan.
Executive Director at Vigo County Area Planning Jared Bayler says this project would be a huge benefit to the Wabash Valley. Middleton says the charging program would help Duke Energy’s goal to cut their carbon emissions down to net-zero by 2050.
“We’re on track to deliver on that and I think electric vehicles will be a big part of that,” Middleton said.
“There are in the neighborhood of about 1.4 million electrified vehicles on the road today,” Bayler said, “If we could even catch a few of those as they were passing through or if they stopped to stay awhile, that could mean a lot to our local economy.”
Both gentlemen say electric cars are the future and the Wabash Valley having the foresight to potentially make this happen will pay dividends.
With a Casino and Convention Center coming to the area in the next few years, Bayler says this project could benefit the Wabash Valley economy greatly.
“We’re going to continue to see more and more of these vehicles out traveling the roads,” Bayler continued, “Anytime we can get out ahead of what will be happening, it positions the Wabash Valley uniquely in being competitive for those dollars and for those visitors regionally.”
“If we get these and maybe some additional charging stations, it will certainly be a boom for the Wabash Valley,” Middleton concluded, “More people will begin to be interested in electric vehicles, I think, and the spin-off of that will be significant.”
Middleton says this project would include 30 fast-charging locations across the Wabash Valley. You could charge your vehicle in as few as 20 minutes.