Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I-5 in Washington to be America's First Electric Highway

Washington State's Department of Transportation is planning to turn 276 miles of Interstate 5, from the Canadian border to Portland, into America's First Electric Highway.

By fall of 2010 you should be seeing signs pointing you towards charging stations.

Electric cars are expected to grow in numbers in the next few years. The Chevy Volt will be able to go 40 miles before it runs out of juice and its gas generator takes over. The Nissan Leaf will go about 100 miles before it needs fresh juice.

The Seattle zone is getting a couple thousand charging stations. To get America off to an electric car future 4 states are Guinea Pigs, Washington, Arizona, Tennessee and California will be installing around 15,000 charging stations. Plus Washington, D.C.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) wants to build up to 10 high speed charging stations along I-5. These are called Level 3 stations and can recharge a battery in 15 to 30 minutes.

There is a partnership between Washington, Oregon and California to build the West Coast Green Highway.

Regarding turning Washington's section of I-5 into America's first Electric Highway, Governor Christine Gregoire said, "Washington state is a leader in creating green jobs, adopting new clean technologies and we are poised to do it again with electric vehicles. Providing the nation's first true electrified highway will benefit Washingtonians and show the rest of the country how we can use innovative partnerships to solve some of our most difficult challenges like climate change and our dependence on oil."

It is going to be interesting to see how the I-5 Electric Highway works out. I know most of my car trips are less than 40 miles. I could see how I could easily get used to an electric car.

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