The “Electric Highway” — a portion of Interstate 5 running through the states of Oregon and Washington, dotted with regular DC fast-charging stations — has shown itself to be a success over the last few years since its opening, as per the most recent figures.
Not that surprising considering that the stations that are part of the route offer chargers that can get you up to 80% battery capacity in ~30 minutes — far, far faster than the charging speeds available at the far more common (but generally cheaper) 240-Volt Level 2 charging stations (~4 hours to charge).
The electric vehicle (EV) interstate heaven that runs throughout the American portion of Cascadia saw a banner year in 2014 — with several new records set, as noted by the Eugene Register-Guard.
A bit of background on the system: the first charging stations along the route opened in December 2011, and the full route has been active for a bit over a year now. The fast-charging stations along the route are spaced roughly 25–50 miles apart — with some side routes, such as portions of coastal Highway 101 (and Columbia Gorge) getting stations as well as Interstate 5.
As it stands currently, Oregon possesses 43 fast-charging units along the section of the route in its territory.
Interestingly, while Oregon and Washington are certainly home to a fair number of electric vehicles, the proportion of charging stations to EVs in the states is actually notable higher there than elsewhere in the country.
Here’s a fact noted recently by the US Energy Information Agency:
Washington and Oregon now have about 5% and 4%, respectively, of the nation’s total public charging stations, despite having only about 2% and 1% of the nation’s total light-duty vehicles.
Here are figures relating to use:
From March 2012 through April 2014, PEV drivers recharged 17,917 times in Washington and 18,522 times in Oregon, mostly using fast chargers.
Those are pretty good numbers for such a new technology and infrastructure. Perhaps not ideal numbers, but in no way bad ones either.
Image Credit: PlugShare