Login to your account
Not a member? Register now.

Subscribe To The Blog:

Follow Us

The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

First Phase Of The West Coast Electric Highway Now Open

Comments: Leave | View
On: Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 2:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

First Phase Of The West Coast Electric Highway Now Open

The West Coast Electric Highway is a project that should allow EVs to gain some real world practicality. The project is designed to make it possible to travel from Canada to Mexico along Interstate 5 in an electric vehicle. The first phase of the highway in southern Oregon is now open.

The West Coast Electric Highway is being made possible by collaboration between the governments of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, private companies, the US Department of Transportation and non-profit organizations. When complete, the highway will offer DC fast-charging stations - 480-volt stations that can charge a battery to about 80 percent full in half an hour - every 40 to 60 miles. While a trip down the full length of the highway via EV won't exactly be fast or convenient, considering the short range of EVs and length of time involved in charging, it will be possible, unlike on the average highway.

The first part of the highway to open is a 160-mile stretch that connects the California border with Cottage Grove, Oregon. The section has eight fast-charging stations located at gas stations, restaurants and hotels.

The stations are spaced about 25 miles apart, so taking the 70 to 100 mile range of the average electric vehicle into account, drivers could afford to miss one or two and still make it to the next. Locations are Cottage Grove, Rice Hill, Roseburg, Canyonville, Wolf Creek, Grants Pass, Central Point, and Ashland. Charging is currently free but requires an electric key fob from AeroVironment, the manufacturer behind the charging equipment.

The West Coast Electric Highway is a showcase for other areas looking to add electric charging infrastructure. The majority of charging stations that exist today are 120-volt Level 1 or 240-volt Level 2 stations. While better than nothing, both types of stations are too slow to effectively address commuter needs. DC fast-charging stations may be slow compared to pumping gas, but commuters could foreseeably use them to extend their driving ranges.

By year-end, the West Coast Electric Highway will extend nearly 600 miles through Oregon and Washington, from Canada to the northern California border.


Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave A Commment

Allowed HTML tags: <a href=""> <abbr title=""> <b> <em> <i>
Please no link dropping, no keywords or domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! rel="nofollow" is in use