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: Nevada DOT Considers Land Ferry with EV Charging Onboard

Nevada DOT Considers Land Ferry with EV Charging Onboard

10 Feb

(Graphic rendering courtesy of UNLV Transportation Research Center)

Steve Merrill at the Nevada Department of Transportation has been promoting the concept of a Land Ferry system that would use existing railroad tracks with special high-speed rail platforms to transport freight and multiple vehicles across wide expanses of Nevada’s rural countryside, at a cheaper price and in a quicker time than if someone drove the route themselves.

A video presentation, including contributions from NEVA participants, has been circulated by NDOT over the last two years to promote the project:

Because the land ferry is powered by electric propulsion, some of the electricity provided could be routed to onboard electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) that could top off the battery pack of an electric delivery truck or personal electric car while the vehicle was being transported. After the land ferry arrived at a customer destination port, the fully-charged EV could be driven off the transportation platform and continue onto its destination.

The land ferry concept has received statewide support from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, as well as from researchers at the Transportation Research Center at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, led by Director Alexander Paz, Ph.D., P.E.


After two years of Phase I study, where researchers studied the practical technologies needed to make this system work, supporters are now petitioning managers at NDOT to fund a Phase II study that will review the potential business model of the project to ensure that the Land Ferry costs of operation would be sustainable over time.

Local Nevada efforts are also being joined by RAIL Solution, an Oregon non-profit organization, that is proposing a Steel Interstate Coalition project along the railroad tracks near interstate highway I-80 that would extend the Land Ferry project from California through northern Nevada to Salt Lake City in Utah. The organization hopes to leverage participation from all three states to share costs and possibly access more federal grant funding for regional transportation development. The RAIL Solution website can be found at:


Blog posted by Stan Hanel, NEVA Outreach Coordinator

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