Nevada’s Strategic Planning Framework 2016-2020 laid out a goal to “complete an “electric highway” system serving the entire state.” The state is quickly moving towards that goal with electric vehicle recharging stations up and running in locations along I-80 and SR-95. New stations are also being added to other major highways throughout the state. OPD5 has received grants to support two charging stations along I-15; one in Mesquite and one in Glendale. While these may be OPD5’s first charging station locations, as demands grow they will probably not be the last.
While electric vehicles (EVs) may seem futuristic, the idea of using electric energy to propel vehicles is not a new phenomenon. While history is uncertain who created the first EV, what is certain is that electric motors were in use as far back as the early 1800s. In 1828, inventor Anyos Jedlik created a small electric motor and mounted it in a model car that could move along a track. He was not alone. Sometime between 1832 and 1839, a larger electric motor created by Scottish inventor Robert Anderson was used to drive a carriage.
These EVs did not gain widespread use, but they did spark the imaginations of others. In 1835, two small-scale EVs were created; one in Holland, and one in the United States by Thomas Davenport. Davenport would later create the first electric car to run on batteries, although the batteries were non-rechargeable and were unable to give the car much range. Others, including French inventor Gaston Plante, worked on better batteries, but their efforts fell short of providing an adequate range for a practical vehicle.
Today, electric vehicles are more popular than they have ever been. New batteries allow them to travel longer distances, thus making them more practical for daily use. Each year, as technology continues to make strides, the use of EVs is expected to increase, and the easy access to charging stations will make their use feasible for all drivers, not just the ones who are willing to sacrifice convenience to “go green.”
The two stations that OPD5 received grants to develop are located at the Eagles Landing in Mesquite and the AM/PM in Glendale. These locations were selected based on the state’s requirement that stations be located within 5 miles of I-15, be open 24 hours a day, have public restrooms and amenities and other ownership and operational requirements. Work on the two locations is well underway, and they are expected to be fully functional by mid-October of 2019.