Published on May 31st, 2012 | by Glenn Meyers6
West Coast Electric Highway Expands to Washington, Now Extends to Canadian Border
Start saying so long to fossil fuels — 10 new electric vehicle charging sites from AeroVironment added along Interstate 5 and U.S. Route 2
The future is now looking far brighter for West Coast EV owners.
The West Coast Electric Highway, a border-to-border endeavor in North America, has moved closer to becoming a reality. Today 10 new EV charging sites opened, extending the highway to the Canadian border and opening it to EV drivers hailing from both the US and Canada.
The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and its electric charging station partner AeroVironment opened 10 new public charging stations — seven along Interstate 5 and three along U.S. Route 2 in northern Washington.
“Today moves us a giant step closer to the day when we can drive our electric cars from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, California along Interstate 5, secure in the knowledge we can quickly recharge our vehicles along the way,” said Washington Governor Chris Gregoire in a press announcement.
Gregoire added we are entering an era that protects the environment from vehicle emissions and builds a road leading away from American dependence on foreign oil and capricious gas prices.
Eight of the 10 new charging stations in Washington feature AeroVironment’s “DC fast chargers.” These chargers can provide a full charge for a nearly spent EV battery in less than 30 minutes. Each location includes AeroVironment Level 2 chargers, which provide EV drivers with convenient charging while they grab a bite to eat, run errands or visit with friends.
“A 21st century transportation system in Washington must provide options for drivers, especially as more people convert to electric vehicles,” said Washington State Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond. “Creating a sustainable transportation system protects our air from harmful emissions and conserves our resources.”
The West Coast Electric Highway is a seen as a fundamental part of a future transportation corridor from the Canadian to Mexican borders.
The AeroVironment charging stations are available at convenient locations in Blaine, Bellingham, Burlington, Tumwater, Centralia, Ridgefield, and Vancouver along Interstate 5 and in Sultan, Skykomish, and Leavenworth along U.S. Route 2. Two additional stations will be installed in the coming weeks.
The U. S. Department of Energy provided seed funding of $1.5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand the West Coast Electric Highway in Washington. The funding is administered by the Department of Commerce through the State Energy Program.
Electric vehicle drivers will have access to the charging stations by enrolling in AeroVironment’s Charging Network at or by calling 888-833-2148. Once enrolled, EV drivers will receive an AeroVironment Network key fob that will provide free access to all AeroVironment chargers along the West Coast Electric Highway for a limited time.
Travel will become particularly more pleasant for those many who loathe the smell of gasoline and diesel.