A $1 billion initiative aims to bring EV chargers to highways and rural areas

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

While Tesla, Electrify America and others technically have nationwide EV charging networks, they don't really provide full coverage -- many rural areas are far from any kind of charger infrastructure. ChargePoint believes it can help close that gap, though. It's teaming with NATSO on a $1 billion effort to bring EV chargers to over 4,000 travel centers and truck stops (which NATSO represents) by 2030, with a particular focus on highways and rural areas. This could both spur EV adoption in rural towns and help with long-distance travel for everyone, ChargePoint said.

The two allies hope to make use of both "public and private" cash to support their initiative, including Volkswagen settlement funds.

There's not much mystery as to why ChargePoint and NATSO are willing to spend on EV chargers. ChargePoint could corner an underserved market and reap the rewards if and when electric cars dominate. For NATSO, meanwhile, this may be a matter of survival. Many travel centers and truck stops are built on the assumption drivers are stopping for gas -- they could lose much of their business if people have few good reasons to make pit stops.