The “West Coast Electric Highway” is an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State Department of Transportation leads the charge on the Washington segment and the Oregon Department of Transportation heads up the Oregon segment.
The west coast has a robust EV charging network with thousands of Level 2 charging pedestals and dozens of DC fast chargers.
Easy and Convenient Charging Locations
Electric vehicle drivers can now grab a cup of coffee or shop while charge up their vehicles at shopping centers, fueling stations and restaurants within a half mile of highway interchanges. The fast charge technology allows drivers to re-charge mass-produced all-electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi “i MiEV” in 30 minutes or less. Each location also includes Level 2 equipment to re-charge most plug in electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt.
Electric Highway Benefits
The Electric Highway gives electric vehicle drivers “range confidence” that recharging is available should they want to travel between communities or make long distance road trips. Knowing that charging is easy and convenient helps encourage residents and businesses to buy and drive plug-in electric vehicles. Increasing the market demand for electric vehicles helps reduce the transportation sector's impact upon the environment and dependency on foreign oil. By setting the stage for the EV industry to thrive in a clean economy, the Electric Highway helps spur industry growth and new jobs.
Electric Highway Stations Support Other EV Charging Investments
The Electric Highway is part of the overall public EV charging infrastructure provided through private companies, large employers, and other partners. A separate but critical public investment is The EV Project, the nation’s largest deployment of electric vehicle charging. The $230 million U.S. Department of Energy project to spur electric vehicle ownership and infrastructure is led by ECOtality North America. The company is deploying nearly 15,000 Blink charging stations in 16 cities and the District of Columbia including homes, public spaces and commercial areas. Major population areas along the West Coast Green Highway served include Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Eugene, OR, Salem, OR, Corvallis, OR, Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA.
Finding a Charging Station
The U.S. Department of Energy has a comprehensive listing of all public charging stations:
Look for this symbol along the highway to find electric vehicle fast-charging stations. Learn more about EV signs.
You can also use your in-car navigation system such as carwings or a mobile app for your iPhone and Android to find charging stations:
Many charging station manufacturers have station locators:
Paying for Your Charge
You may need a key fob or RFID card to operate the charging stations and prices may vary depending on the equipment vendor. Some locations will charge by the time connected to the station, others may charge a flat fee per use, and others will offer monthly subscription services for unlimited use. Most locations will have a toll free phone number posted on the equipment so you can call and get a guest charge with a credit card.