The border-to-border vision of the West Coast Electric Highway is moving closer to becoming a reality.
The Washington State Department of Transportation and electric charging station partner AeroVironment recently opened 10 public charging stations that provide electric vehicle drivers with the ability to travel from Seattle to the Canadian border.
“(Today) moves us a giant step closer to the day when we can drive our electric cars from Bellingham, Washington, to San Diego, California, along Interstate 5, secure in the knowledge we can quickly recharge our vehicles along the way,” said Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire. “And today is the beginning of a new era in Washington State an era where we take a giant step toward protecting our environment from damage caused by vehicle emissions, one that will help free us from our dependence on foreign oil, and one that protects drivers from volatile gas prices.”
Ten new electric vehicle charging sites from AeroVironment have been added along Interstate 5 and U.S. Route 2. For a limited time AeroVironment will provide free charging to EV owners. Credit: BusinessWire
Eight of the 10 new charging stations in Washington feature AeroVironment’s state of the art “DC fast chargers,” which deliver a full charge for a nearly depleted EV battery in less than 30 minutes.
“A 21st-century transportation system in Washington must provide options for drivers, especially as more people convert to electric vehicles,” said Washington State Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond. “Creating a sustainable transportation system protects our air from harmful emissions and conserves our resources.”
The West Coast Electric Highway is a vision for a transportation corridor from the Canadian to Mexican borders, connecting California, Oregon and Washington along I-5 that fully supports electric vehicles. Inaugurated in southern Oregon March 16, the West Coast Electric Highway’s expansion in Washington creates international opportunities, opening the gateway to Canada.
The AeroVironment charging stations are available at convenient locations in Blaine, Bellingham, Burlington, Tumwater, Centralia, Ridgefield and Vancouver along I-5 and in Sultan, Skykomish and Leavenworth along U.S. Route 2. Two additional stations will be installed shortly.
The U.S. Department of Energy provided seed funding of $1.5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand the West Coast Electric Highway in Washington. The funding is administered by the Department of Commerce through the State Energy Program.