ENRSouthwest | Doug Puppel
What has been dubbed the “New Nevada” now meets the Old West in the state’s hardscrabble mining communities like Beatty and Tonopah. There, electric vehicle charging stations can be found amid the last-chance saloons, sagging buildings and “haunted” hotels typical of fading boomtowns.
Those stations are a product of the Nevada Electric Highway, an initiative that began in 2015 after Tesla decided to build its $5-billion Gigafactory in the state.
The first phase of the NEH saw EV charging stations installed along the 450 rural miles of U.S. Highway 95 linking the state’s two big population centers—Las Vegas and Reno, home of the Gigafactory.
Now, the second phase of the electric highway is developing new charging sites in rural Nevada and adding capacity along Interstate 15, which runs through Las Vegas.
“It’s an important improvement to our infrastructure that sends a message to Nevadans and those who come to and through Nevada that [electric vehicle] ‘range anxiety’ should not be a factor,” says state Sen. Chris Brooks, a Las Vegas Democrat and major voice on energy, clean tech and environmental issues.