The border-to-border vision of the West Coast Electric Highway moves closer to becoming a reality today with the opening of new EV charging sites, extending the highway to the Canadian border and opening it to electric vehicle (EV) drivers from both countries.
The West Coast Electric Highway is a vision for a transportation corridor from the Canadian to Mexican borders, connecting California, Oregon and Washington along I-5 that fully supports electric vehicles. Inaugurated in Southern Oregon on March 16, 2012, the West Coast Electric Highway’s expansion in Washington creates international opportunities, opening the gateway to Canada.The AeroVironment charging stations are available at convenient locations in Blaine, Bellingham, Burlington, Tumwater, Centralia, Ridgefield and Vancouver along Interstate 5 and in Sultan, Skykomish and Leavenworth along U.S. Route 2. Two additional stations will be installed in the coming weeks. “AeroVironment is a pioneer of the modern-day electric vehicle industry,” said Kristen Helsel, vice president of business development for AeroVironment’s Efficient Energy Systems business. “Partnering with visionaries like Washington State allows us to provide EV drivers with charging solutions wherever they are—and to travel greater distances in their electric vehicles. Together, we’re growing the EV infrastructure to realize a clean transportation and energy independent future.” The U. S. Department of Energy provided seed funding of $1.5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to expand the West Coast Electric Highway in Washington. The funding is administered by the Department of Commerce through the State Energy Program. “Efficient transportation and the electrification of vehicles is a leading pillar of our State Energy Strategy,” said Rogers Weed, director of Commerce, who drove his own plug-in electric vehicle to the opening events today. “The West Coast Electric Highway is an outstanding example of public-private collaboration between partners including WSDOT, AeroVironment, local governments and businesses, and EV drivers. Together our efforts are helping electric vehicle related businesses emerge and grow, providing long-term energy and economic benefits for Washington state.” Electric vehicle drivers will be able to access the charging stations by first enrolling in AeroVironment’s Charging Network at evsolutions.com/avnetwork or by calling toll-free at 888-833-2148. Once enrolled, EV drivers will receive an AeroVironment Network key fob that will provide free access to all AeroVironment chargers along the West Coast Electric Highway for a limited time. About Washington State Department of TransportationThe Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is the steward of a large and robust transportation system, and is responsible for ensuring that people and goods move safely and efficiently. In addition to building, maintaining, and operating the state highway system, WSDOT is responsible for the state ferry system, and works in partnership with others to maintain and improve local roads, railroads, airports, and multi-modal alternatives to driving. About AeroVironment, Inc.AeroVironment is a technology solutions provider that designs, develops, produces, operates and supports an advanced portfolio of electric transportation solutions and electric-powered Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). AeroVironment’s comprehensive EV charging solutions include EV home charging, public charging, fast charging, data collection, grid-integrated communications and complete installation, training and support services for consumers, automakers, utilities, government agencies and businesses. AeroVironment’s industrial electric vehicle charging systems support thousands of electric materials handling vehicles in mission-critical supply chains for Fortune 500 enterprises. AeroVironment’s power cycling and test systems provide EV developers and EV battery manufacturers with market-leading simulation and cycling capabilities. Agencies of the U.S. Department of Defense and allied military services use the company’s electric-powered, hand-launched unmanned aircraft systems to provide situational awareness to tactical operating units through real-time, airborne reconnaissance, surveillance and communication. More information is available at www.avinc.com and www.evsolutions.com. 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