In Washington, NATSO—representing the US’ truck stops and travel plazas—called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to work with private, exit-based businesses within the confines of the existing law that prohibits the sale of fuel and other commercial services at rest areas as it seeks to identify and establish stretches of the National Highway System as alternative fuel corridors.
In comments filed Aug. 22, NATSO urged the agency to implement Section 1413 of the FAST Act in a manner that strengthened the incentive for private investment for infrastructure for alternate-fueled vehicles without preempting consumer demand.
Section 1413 of the FAST Act directed DOT to identify and establish fueling corridors to support alternative-fueling stations, including electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas fueling infrastructure at strategic locations along major national highways. DOT is further charged with identifying the near- and long-term need for, and locations of, electric vehicle, natural gas, and propane refueling infrastructure for both passenger and commercial vehicles.
In its comments, NATSO said that working with existing exit-based establishments to install the necessary infrastructure at privately run businesses, including truckstops and travel plazas, represents the best way for the Administration to accomplish its objectives of increasing alternative fueling infrastructure throughout the country. State governments should not provide transportation fuel paid for with tax dollars, NATSO said.
Furthering the deployment and use of charging and alternative fueling facilities is best realized if the travel plaza and truckstop industry’s business environment is recognized as an asset. Building alternative fuel facilities at truckstops provides the opportunity for an incremental investment at an existing facility and is a very efficient way of accomplishing the Administration’s goals.