Have you noticed one of these lately? They're popping up everywhere

Have you noticed one of these lately? They're popping up everywhere
An electric charging station in Detroit, Oregon. Photo by Shannon L. Cheesman, KATU.com.

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: