Oregon’s I-5 Becomes EV Charging Mecca

Live in Portland, Oregon? Soon, your electric vehicle will be able to take you as far as the redwoods of northern California, thanks to an extension of the I-5 charging corridor, announced recently by Governor Kulongoski of Oregon. This network of fast chargers, developed in partnership with Ecotality’s The EV Project, will now extend from Eugene south to the California border, creating a system of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations along the entire length of Interstate 5 in Oregon.

In order to accomplish this, ECOtality worked closely with its Oregon Advisory Team and area stakeholders—including Pacificorp, it’s latest EV Project partner—to complete deployment guidelines and develop maps with potential charging site locations and information regarding population density. These maps take into consideration a variety of factors, including transportation routes, employment centers and zoning.

OR I-5

image via Oregon DOT

This expansion comes hot on the heels of ECOtality unveiling its infrastructure plans for northwestern Oregon, which include potential locations for more than 1,100 publicly available charging stations. Now, thanks to support from local area stakeholders, including the Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition, and PacifiCorp, those plans have been extended through central and southwestern Oregon as well. As part of the plan, ECOtality will place approximately 20 stations in Medford and Ashland, providing publicly available charging stations for electric vehicles slated to arrive in area showrooms after January 2011.

“Our vision for Oregon is to create an electrified highway so that Oregonians, and our visitors, can travel throughout our state on business and leisure using the next generation of clean, electric vehicles,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski, in a statement. “With the partnership of the federal government, our utility companies, local governments and private companies like ECOtality, we are quickly turning that vision into a reality.” Federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will help to fund Oregon’s 1-5 fast charging corridor. According to ECOtality, Oregon currently leads the West Coast in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.