As the United States prepares to invest billions of dollars developing a nationwide charging network for electric vehicles, an EV-only road trip to the northernmost drivable point in the country highlights the vast potential of expanded EV infrastructure – from city streets to remote rural roadways.
The inaugural Arctic Road Rally which begins on August 12, will see a convoy of electric cars and trucks on a 1,096-mile journey from Fairbanks to Oliktok Point, Alaska and back. Participating vehicles include Tesla models Y, 3, S-LR, and X, Rivian R1Ts, and a Ford F-150 Lightning, all powered by a series of charging stations temporarily installed at five points along the iconic Dalton Highway.
The event unfolds against a nationwide backdrop of increased EV adoption and investment. The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program provides nearly $5 billion to develop a national electric vehicle charging network, and Alaska is one of many states working to implement plans to deploy those federal funds. The Arctic Road Rally aims to demonstrate the possibilities.
The rally is presented by Launch Alaska, the Alaska Electric Vehicle Association, and the Center for Transportation and the Environment, and made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Technology Transitions.
Event supporters highlight the rally’s role in informing future infrastructure development around Alaska, helping make EV technology more accessible to all while bringing economic and environmental benefits to the entire state.
“We are thrilled to support innovation to help move electrified transportation forward in Alaska,” said John Burns, CEO of Golden Valley Electric Association. “GVEA recognizes that the adoption of EVs will help to reduce carbon emissions and is in line with GVEA’s commitment to expand renewable energy resources on our grid to the extent practical without negatively impacting rates or reliability. With recent technology improvements, there is increased interest by GVEA members in owning an EV. Events like the Arctic Road Rally demonstrate that EVs can operate within the Railbelt and the event promotes the collective goal of establishing a robust charging network, so EV owners can travel without limitations.”
“The Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) is excited to support the Arctic Road Rally. This innovative event will showcase EV capabilities on one of Alaska’s most isolated and rugged roads,” said AEA Executive Director Curtis W. Thayer. “Lessons learned will inform AEA, as we develop Alaska’s EV Infrastructure Implementation Plan to strategically deploy EV charging solutions across Alaska.”