From a clean tech perspective, Nevada’s been getting lots of bad press recently for killing its rooftop solar industry. But a recent announcement and ceremony on EV charging puts them in a better light, at least on electric vehicles (of course, by killing rooftop solar, the state is making it less likely people will want to buy EVs).
Highway 95 between Las Vegas and Reno connects Nevada’s two biggest cities. I’ve done the drive twice, including last summer, and I think it’s one of the most beautiful, desolate roads in the country. It’s also super dangerous — I saw accidents each time I drove it, due to the two-lane configuration, blurry rural vistas, lots of cars, and lots of passing that narrowly misses oncoming traffic.
But it’s nice to see that soon EV drivers can make that trip without stress (at least related to running out of juice):
About 40 people — a mix of Valley Electric Association board members and executives, residents of the small town that is the gateway to Death Valley National Park, employees of Eddie World, an iconic stopover on the seven-hour trip between Las Vegas and Reno, and curious travelers on U.S. Highway 95 — gathered to watch Sandoval and others cut a ribbon marking the official opening of the charging stations.
There are two charging stations at the site with three ports each. Two of the ports have connections that will fully charge a vehicle in four hours, but one of them has a fast charge that can take a vehicle to 80 percent charged within 30 minutes.
“It was just great looking out in the crowd and seeing all the happy faces of the people of Beatty because they know that they will always know they were the first to have this,” Sandoval said after the 20 minutes of remarks by several dignitaries.
The opening of the Beatty charging station is the first of four planned along U.S. 95, the 448-mile primary route between the state’s two most populous cities, Las Vegas and Reno.
Other stations are planned in Tonopah, Hawthorne and Fallon. Sandoval said he plans to celebrate them all.
What’s crazy is that California has not done the same level of planning and infrastructure investment for its key highways. That includes both Highway 99 in the eastern Central Valley and Interstate 5 connecting L.A. to the Bay Area and Sacramento, not to mention Interstate 101.
At least on EVs, California has something to learn from Nevada.