With a reputation for a collective pioneering spirit, the joint decision to back the alternative fuel transportation movement was an easy one for the Governors of Oregon, Washington, and California, as well as the premier of British Columbia. Together, these public policy leaders have outlined a vision now referred to as the "West Coast Electric Highway." The project's goal? To advance electric transportation and alternative fuel vehicles by outfitting the I-5 corridor with charging stations all the way from "BC to Baja."
Oregon and Washington are the first in the group to make a serious commitment to implement this grand vision. Working through an innovative public-private partnership concept established by the two states, AeroVironment is on track to install over 40 DC fast chargers in both states by the end of the year. Collectively, these public charging stations are called the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH) and include both a CHAdeMO DC fast charger and Level 2 charging stations.
The charging spots will be installed at approximately 25-mile intervals in convenient locations near the highway, with access to amenities such as food, rest rooms and other services.
The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) had a vision for the WCEH in the hopes of offering EV drivers convenient refueling options in the public domain. In parallel, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), had been receiving an increasing number of inquiries about EV infrastructure; the agency responded by teaming up with WSDOT to answer the very vocal public need.
The first leg of the WCEH was inaugurated on March 16 with the opening of eight charging stations in Southern Oregon. Beginning in Ashland, approximately 14 miles north of the California border, EV drivers can now drive north with confidence along the I-5 with stations located at Central Point, Grants Pass, Wolf Creek, Canyonville, Roseburg, Rice Hill and Cottage Grove. Two additional stations are currently under construction at Springfield and Halsey which will extend I-5 coverage to over 200 miles north of the California border. EV drivers interested in accessing the WCEH network of charging stations can enroll at www.evsolutions.com/avnetwork .
EV drivers and site hosts alike will benefit from the effort; the WCEH encourages mass EV adoption by providing convenient EV refueling and by connecting adjoining communities. With the help of visionary organizations and individuals, electric transport will be a viable and sustainable means of transportation.
For more information on the West Coast Green Highway visit www.westcoastgreenhighway.com .
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