A new electro-mobility initiative is giving drivers and riders the opportunity to make longer trips in their electric vehicles (EVs). The enterprise is called the “West Coast Electric Highway.” The new electric route is a network of EV DC fast-charging stations located along Highways 101 and 99 as well as Interstate 5.
To develop the highway, multiple government agencies worked together. The Washington State Department of Transportation leads the “charge” in Washington while the Oregon Department of Transportation heads up efforts in Oregon. A California Governor’s Office interagency group coordinates charging investment in California, and Plug In BC, a collaborative among government and industry partners, is the information hub for British Columbia. Together, the group hopes to help drivers make longer trips and travel between cities.
Making charging easier is the location of the route’s charging stations. All are within half a mile of the applicable highway interchanges. And, the group says that EV drivers/riders can now eat or shop at charging locations while their EV is charging.
Each location includes Level 2 equipment to recharge most plug-in electric vehicles. Most charging sites have CHAdeMo equipment. Newer sites also include Combo Charging System (CCS) equipment compatible with American and European cars.
The organization says that the Electric Highway offers EV drivers “range confidence”. While using the route, drivers/riders will know that charging is available. This is key, especially if they want to travel between cities or make long-distance road trips.
They say that knowing that charging is easy and convenient encourages residents and businesses to buy and drive EVs. This, in turn, helps increase market demand for them and helps reduce the transportation sector’s impact upon the environment and dependency on foreign oil.
For more information on the West Coast Electric Highway, you can go to their website, which is full of information on charging stations and their locations, as well as information on apps to help you find them quickly.