DETROIT, Ore. - Electric vehicle charging stations are showing up in some unexpected places here in the Northwest - even the great outdoors.
We're talking about the West Coast Electric Highway, a fast-growing network of charging stations along Interstate 5 and smaller roadways (like Highway 22 in Detroit, Oregon). That's where we ran across one while our travel/outdoors reporter was covering the town's annual fishing derby at Detroit Lake.
Even though right now most vehicles on the road are running on gas, there is a push to build an infrastructure to support what many believe is the future.
The effort here on the West Coast began a few years back when the governors of Oregon, California and Washington signed an agreement to turn I-5 into an electric highway (using federal stimulus dollars).
The idea behind the network, which also spans out east and west of I-5, is to give folks with electric vehicles plenty of opportunities for quick charges (about 20 to 30 minutes) while they're on longer, and perhaps more scenic, trips.
The I-5 stretch is not the first electric highway corridor in the country. That honor goes to Tennessee, where Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants installed a network of charging stations along interstates connecting Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga - a total of 425 miles.
Interested in learning more? There is certainly a lot happening with the effort to build an electric vehicle infrastructure. Here are some related news releases, headlines and links you might find of interest:
- West Coast Electric Highway: Map/list of locations | Oregon's network | Washington's network
- Driving an electric vehicle? Subscribe to the network
- An introduction to public chargers
- The power of community helps get ready for electric cars
- Charging station infrastructure boost to electric vehicle use
- Salem visitors to get a charge out of visiting Capitol
- Oregon adds more quick-charge stations
- Vt. and Quebec partner to establish corridor for electric vehicles
- B.C. plugging in to electric vehicle fast chargers
- B.C. lays the groundwork for a surge in charging stations
- The EV Project