I-5 from Canada to Oregon will be turned into the nation’s first electric highway.
Washington state is about to turn a section of Interstate-5 — all the way from Canada to Oregon — into the nation’s first electric highway. Thanks to a $1.32 million federal grant, they’ll be able to install 10 Level-3 electric charging stations along the route. Each station is capable of charging at 400 volts and 30 amps or more and at these stations a typical EV would be 80% charged in just about 30 minutes. Plug in, grab a cup of coffee, chat with fellow travelers, and be on your way.
The state is planning on building the electric transportation mecca in the fall of this year, after a bidding process this summer by electric charging station manufacturers takes place. The state is hoping to be able to install stations every 80 miles, as most new electric vehicles — like the Leaf and the Volt — have a charging range of 100 miles.
Level-3 charging stations generally don’t charge a battery completely and cold and inclement weather are also an issue. Electric vehicle battery ranges change as the temperature varies around them and with Washington’s notoriously cold and rainy seasons, it could prove to be a problem. For now, however, we’re applauding the state on their forward thinking and are green with envy of the soon to be even greener I-5 corridor.