Published May 31, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
The border-to-border vision of the West Coast Electric Highway moves closer to becoming a reality with the opening of new EV charging sites extending the highway for U.S. and Canadian electric vehicle (EV) drivers to the Canadian border.
The expansion was considered in place yesterday when the Washington State Department of Transportation ( WSDOT), along with electric charging station partner AeroVironment opened ten new public charging stations. Seven are along Interstate 5 and three are along U.S. Route 2 in northern Washington and these provide EV drivers the ability to travel emission-free from Seattle to the Canadian border.
Eight of the 10 new charging stations in Washington feature AeroVironment’s “DC fast chargers,” which deliver a full charge for a nearly-depleted EV battery in less than 30 minutes.
All locations include AeroVironment Level 2 chargers, which provide EV drivers with convenient charging while they grab a bite to eat, run errands or visit with friends. The locations are strategically placed near desirable shopping and entertainment venues for drivers, which will benefit drivers and businesses alike.
Two of the 10 locations – at rest areas near Blaine and Vancouver – offer only Level 2 chargers. There, electricity is provided free to drivers by Adopt a Charger and the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association.
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 on March 16, 2012, 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 Interstate 5 and in Sultan, Skykomish and Leavenworth along U.S. Route 2. Two additional stations will be installed in the coming weeks.
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.
Electric vehicle drivers will be able to access the charging stations by first enrolling in AeroVironment’s Charging Network at evsolutions.com/avnetwork or by calling toll-free at 888-833-2148. Once enrolled, EV drivers will receive an AeroVironment Network key fob that will provide free access to all AeroVironment chargers along the West Coast Electric Highway for a limited time.