Published on July 26th, 2011 | by Andrew Meggison
Washington State Taps AeroVironment to Install Charging Stations Along "Green Highway"
EV charging stations are popping up on the sides of highways in parts of Europe. Finally America is getting on board; and once again the West Coast is setting the standard for the future.
I-5 in Washington State will become part of the West Coast Green Highway system on the west coast. In time California and Oregon will join in the Green Highway that will stretch from the Mexican border to the Canadian border for a grand total of 1,350-miles of freeway with EV charging stations.
AeroVironment, a California based supplier of new energy solutions, has been chosen to manufacture, supply, install, and operate the network of nine fast-charging stations for EVs on the Washington stretch of highway. The project will cost $1 million, and the Washington charging stations will be located 40-60 miles apart along I-5 between the Canadian border and Everett. Charging stations will also be located between Olympia and the Oregon border as well as along U.S. 2 between Everett and Leavenworth.
Two of the major issues American consumers have with adopting EVs are the high cost of the vehicles and the lack of battery range for the vehicles. By implementing a series of charging stations the issue surrounding battery range is mitigated—now a consumer’s EV can be “fueled up” and the travel’s journey can continue. Close to 2 million EVs are expected to be sold in the West Coast states in the next decade.
Problems still persist on the Green Highway however. EV battery recharge times are a negative point of interest for future EV consumers with charging times ranging from hours to 30 minutes to complete. So called Level 3, or “fast” charging stations will be operational in Washington by November 30th—charging time from zero to full will be less than 30 minutes. Additionally, “medium” speed chargers (Level 2) will also be available that will charge a battery from zero to full in a time between four and six hours. There is a major difference in charging times depending on the “fast” and “medium” charge options.
One must also wonder what AeroVironment will think your time (and their charging stations) are worth when it comes down to the almighty dollar and the fee to use the charging stations. Let’s hope snack machines and bathrooms pop up alongside these charging stations too..and maybe a few arcade games too.
Source: The Detroit Bureau | Image: WSDOT
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail.