The Oregon Department of Transportation (DOT), along with charging station partner AeroVironment and the Oregon Department of Energy (DOE), has inaugurated the first phase of the West Coast Electric Highway.
According to the Oregon DOT, the West Coast Electric Highway, a multi-state initiative between Oregon, California and Washington, will eventually allow electric vehicle (EV) drivers to travel from San Diego to Vancouver, without relying on carbon-based fuel.
The initial eight stations each offer two charging outlets, and two more hubs, located along I-5 north of Cottage Grove, will complete this first phase and join the network later this spring.
AeroVironment installed the charging stations in Cottage Grove, Rice Hill, Roseburg, Canyonville, Wolf Creek, Grants Pass, Central Point and Ashland, spaced roughly 25 miles apart. Plans call for a total of more than 40 additional charging stations from AeroVironment to be operational in Oregon and Washington by the end of the year.
“Once Oregon's segment of the West Coast Electric Highway is completed, EV drivers will be able to travel from Ashland to Portland at a fraction of the cost of filling a gas tank and with no direct emissions,” says Pat Egan, chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission and vice president of customer and community affairs at Pacific Power.
The new EV charging stations were paid for by $915,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the Oregon DOE's State Energy Program.