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Back in 2009, California, Oregon, and Washington made a decision to start turning a portion of the I-5 freeway into an Electric Highway. Hoping to address the limited range of an electric vehicle, the states lined a 160-mile stretch on the West Coast freeway with eight charging stations.
Each station is spaced out 25 miles apart, allowing the vast majority of electric vehicle drivers the ability to safely charge as they head up the Pacific Northwest. The stations are lined between the northern border of California all the way to Cottage Grove, Oregon. It’s the first major section of the I-5 to have this many charging stations along one route.
While most electric vehicles could take some time to fully recharge (three hours to overnight), the Nissan Leaf can utilize 480 volts to go from 20-percent to 80-percent in less than 30 minutes. Just don’t plan on staying in Washington State if you own an electric vehicle.
If you’ve got an EV, you’ll want to mark your calendars. In six months, you’ll be able to recharge your electric vehicle along Washington state’s new “Electric Highways.”
With some help from Monrovia, Calif.-based AeroVironment, Washington is now adding charging stations along the I-5 and the U.S. 2. With a bill of about $1 million, the project will be setting up stations every 40 to 60 miles along the I-5 between Everett and the Canadian border and between Olympia and the Oregon border. For their part, AeroVironment will manufacture, supply, install and operate the new network of electric vehicle chargers.
If you’re planning a scenic road trip around these routes, you can charge up your batteries to about 80 percent in 20 to 30 minutes – just enough time to take a much-needed break from driving and enjoy your surroundings.
“A network of charging stations linking Washington to Oregon and Canada will make electric vehicles more attractive to consumers and businesses, and transportation better for the environment,” said Paula Hammond, Washington secretary of transportation.
Complementing the EV Project, these new stations will be a vital piece of the future West Coast Green Highway, a project that plans to provide a seamless network of recharging stations along all 1,350 miles of I-5 from Canada to Mexico.
[Source: Autoblog Green]