The future of traveling is here: meet the West Coast Electric Highway
In recent years, the evidence of the environmental footprint we are leaving on the world has become increasingly clear. From global warming to increasingly violent natural disasters, the Earth is speaking. One of the things that contribute to that pollution on a daily basis is vehicles that use fuel and emit toxic gases into the environment; which is why electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing is on the rise, and with it the need for EV charging stations. The West Coast Electric Highway is an innovation in the field and a model that other states in the United States and Canada will soon adopt.
But, what exactly are we talking about when we say the West Coast Electric Highway? Well, you need to know that this isn’t an ordinary freeway, it’s a vast network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) placed every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5, Highway 99, and other main roads in British Columbia (Canada), Washington, Oregon, and California. The West Coast Electric Highway is the result of a public-private partnership that includes the US Departments of Energy and Transportation, as well as the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation.
The demand for electric vehicles is growing, and it’s estimated that by 2025 approximately 20% of total car sales will be electric cars. As a result, an increasing number of electric vehicle charging stations are required. The West Coast Electric Highway project is ambitious: it aims to install over 14,000 level 2 chargers and 400 fast chargers across major metropolitan areas of the United States.
Charging locations and benefits of the West Coast Electric Highway
If you have the chance to see the West Coast Electric Highway map, you’ll be able to realize that it passes through highways and interstates. It goes from California to Oregon, and up to British Columbia in Canada, passing through Washington. Each charger is located every 25 to 50 miles along certain routes, near freeway ramps to make it easier for drivers to find them.
The West Coast Electric Highway’s chargers are often placed in areas where people already are, like restaurants and grocery stores. You may find one of the 44 electric vehicle charging station sites in places such as:
- Parks, lots, and convention centers
- Grocery stores
- Hotels and motels
- Shopping malls
- Gas stations
- Office buildings, country stores, etc.
One of the main benefits of the West Coast Electric Highways is the confidence it brings for electric vehicle drivers. If an electric car owner decided, for example, to take a trip from Medford to Albany, they would need to know that there are charging stations along the route. Looking at the West Coast Electric Highway map, this user would realize that they can sleep in a hotel while the EV is charged overnight. Or more simply, he or she may stop for lunch at a nearby restaurant while the car charges.
The installation of charging stations encourages users and businesses to change their regular vehicles for electric ones, thus making a positive impact on the environment as air pollution is minimized.
What ‘s next?
The West Coast Electric Highway is the first of six corridors that were selected by the United States Department of Transportation for the ‘Corridor of the Future’ program. This initiative is to develop multi-state corridors aimed at creating innovative national and regional initiatives to minimize congestion and increase transport delivery efficiency. The solutions were chosen for their ability to use public and private resources to relieve traffic congestion in the corridors and across the country.
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