July 2, 2020. A Federal Highway Administration program helps federal, state and local governments and private companies plan and build an interstate network of alternative fuel stations, then promote and brand them so commercial and passenger vehicle drivers can locate them.
Until recently, New Mexico was one of just four states not yet participating in the program, but Wednesday morning the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department announced that the FHA has designated New Mexico’s first alternative fuel corridors.
Federal designations exist for electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas stations, with different criteria for each fuel.
The FHA requires that electric charging facilities be established at 50-mile intervals along a designated corridor, for instance, or 100-mile intervals for hydrogen, 150-mile intervals for propane or compressed natural gas, and 200-mile intervals for liquefied natural gas.
Prior to New Mexico’s inclusion, the FHA said the program had designated 135,000 miles along the national highway system as alternative fuel corridors, touching 46 states.
Now, areas of Interstates 25 and 10 through New Mexico — as well as U.S. highways 70 and 285 — will be listed as alternative fuel locations, with distinctive blue signs marking the routes to assist travelers in locating facilities.
The inclusion of New Mexico helps fill a gap in alternative fuel corridors in the southwest, between high concentrations in southern California and the Phoenix, Arizona area to the west and another high concentration in the region including Dallas, Texas.