Another step to answer electric vehicle range anxiety has been taken.
As of Friday morning, the Oregon Department of Transportation has opened the first phase of the West Coast Electric Highway, which is anticipated to eventually stretch along Interstate 5 from the Canadian to Mexican borders. This opening was made in partnership with charging station partner AeroVironment and the Oregon Department of Energy.
At this stage, the first eight links are operating in what will ultimately be a north-south chain of electric vehicle charging stations along I-5. The West Coast Electric Highway will eventually allow EV drivers to travel from San Diego to Vancouver, B.C. on electric power alone. “Fast” charging stations, included at each of the newly operational locations, can provide a full charge for an EV in less than 30 minutes. These stations will eventually dot interchanges up and down I-5.
Spaced at roughly 25-mile intervals along the southern Oregon I-5, the AeroVironment charging stations are now available at locations in Cottage Grove, Rice Hill, Roseburg, Canyonville, Wolf Creek, Grants Pass, Central Point, and Ashland. Each location has two charging stations including one DC “fast” charger. Plans call for more than 40 additional charging stations to be operational in Oregon and Washington by the end of the year.
Electric vehicle drivers will be able to activate access to the charging stations by signing up for AV’s Charging Network through this link or by calling toll-free at 888-833-2148. Once enrolled, EV drivers will receive an AV Network key fob that will allow access to all AeroVironment chargers along the West Coast Electric Highway. AeroVironment is currently providing free charging for a limited time.
The new EV charging stations were paid for by $915,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through the Oregon Department of Energy’s State Energy Program.