We're pioneers, Oregon! Ditch that wagon for the West Coast Electric Highway
By Ashley Horvat, Oregon Chief EV Officer
Ashley Horvat serves as the state of Oregon’s Chief EV Officer.
In the 1800s, Oregon welcomed stagecoaches filled with weary travelers to places like The Wolf Creek Inn.
On March 16, 2012, we also welcomed weary, rain-soaked travelers to the Wolf Creek Inn. Only this time, it was electric vehicle (EV) drivers traveling up and down the I-5 corridor, eager for a quick charge at the newly-unveiled West Coast Electric Highway fast-charging station.
Since then, thanks to funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, through Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE), and the U.S. Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Transportation’s prime contractor, AeroVironment, has installed 27 fast-chargers. Three more will be coming online in the next few weeks, and 13 more will open over the next year.
Because of the deployment of the West Coast Electric Highway and “The EV Project” fast-charger installations, Oregon has the most robust fast-charging network in the entire country. Current EVs in the marketplace boast a 100-mile range and some even have almost a 300-mile range on a single charge.
But this network, dotted with fast-chargers that can refuel an EV in as little as 10 minutes and as much as 30 minutes, opens up opportunities for EVs to travel as far as their intrepid owners’ spirits can take them.
Recognizing the unique geographic distribution of this network, up and down the Oregon coast, along the Columbia River Gorge, throughout the Willamette Valley’s Wine Country, across the Cascades, and in the heart of southern Oregon, ODOT, Travel Oregon, and Travel Portland partnered to develop an EV tourism niche. We’ve created EV itineraries that will take residents and visitors alike on EV journeys around the state, like the Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge loop, the Oregon Coast loop, and the Covered Bridges Trip.
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