Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire announced that Washington has received a $1.3 million grant as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act that will enable the state to install electric vehicle charging stations along Interstate 5. These public charging stations will allow electric car drivers to get from Portland, Oregon all the way to the Canadian border without fear of running out of juice. They will also connect electric vehicle drivers in Washington and other states participating in the EV Project, which plans to serve about 4,700 electric vehicles with about 15,000 charge stations in 5 states (Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Tennessee) and the District of Columbia.
According to the press release, Washington expects about 300,000 electric cars to hit the road in its state over the next 10 years. It is also part of the state’s efforts on the West Coast Green Highway, a tri-state initiative to promote the use of cleaner fuels along the 1,350 miles of I-5 from British Columbia to Baja California. In February, Governor Gregoire signed an action plan with leaders from Oregon, California, and British Columbia to establish I-5 as a green highway by building infrastructure for alternative fuels and electric vehicle charging.
“Washington state is a leader in creating green jobs, adopting new clean technologies and we are poised to do it again with electric vehicles,” said Gregoire in a statement. “Providing the nation’s first true electrified highway (I-5) will benefit Washingtonians and show the rest of the country how we can use innovative partnerships to solve some of our most difficult challenges like climate change and our dependence on oil.”
We think this will give electric vehicles along the West Coast a big boost when drivers realize they can use their new Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, or smart car for errands or longer trips from Canada to Mexico. Since EarthTechling is located in Oregon, we’ll be keeping an eye out for you and let you know when we start seeing these nifty charging stations pop up along the highway.