Clean Fuels Ohio has begun work on a six-state project focused on expanding plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) charging and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling infrastructure along the eastern portion of the I-80 Mid-America Corridor. This project, led by Argonne National Laboratory and the Illinois Department of Transportation, will incorporate Clean Cities Coalitions, state government agencies, and key stakeholders from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa to work on planning charging and fueling infrastructure deployment. The goal of this project is to set the stage to increase the use of PEVs and CNG fueled trucks to reduce criteria-pollutant and carbon emissions for intercity passenger and freight travel.

At a little over 2,900 miles, I-80 is the second-longest Interstate Highway in the U.S. and a major passenger and freight corridor. The eastern half of the corridor, from its terminus at I-95 in New Jersey to Omaha on the Iowa-Nebraska border, crosses a dozen major interstate highways and passes through counties with a combined population of roughly 19 million people. This portion of I-80 sees traffic volumes of well over 8,500 trucks per day on all segments, making it one of the two most heavily traveled transcontinental corridors in the U.S.

The Mid-America Corridor was designated an alternative fuel corridor in FHWA’s initial round of corridor nominations. The corridor was rated as “ready” for CNGVs and PEVs along some portions. With this project, CFO and the rest of the project team aim to fill in many of the gaps is CNG and PEV charging and fueling infrastructure that limit the use of these fuels by vehicles traveling on the Corridor as well as on other corridors with which it intersects. In the long term, the project aims to achieve corridor readiness along all 2900+ miles of I-80. Therefore, we will:

  1. Develop a deployment plan for CNG and DCFC infrastructure on the eastern portion of the Mid-America Alternative Fuel Corridor;
  2. Flip corridor segments currently designated as CNG and EV “pending” to CNG and EV “ready”;
  3. Work with public and private partners to identify new locations for CNG stations and DCFC infrastructure and the funds to support their deployment, foster outreach, improve signage and branding, and facilitate use of existing and planned alternative fuel stations. This will be accomplished via an extensive program of public engagement and “mini-convenings” by state.

As the Ohio portion of I-80 is primarily a part of the Ohio Turnpike, CFO will work closely with the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission and with the Ohio Department of Transportation.