A few weeks back we learned that the US would be getting 310 quick-charging CHAdeMO stations
, 480V AC/DC converters that can get a Nissan Leaf
to 80 percent charge in under 30 minutes. Most are destined for major metropolitan areas, but we were intrigued to find out that Washington State is going to put two or three of them out in the country, on a 120 mile scenic portion of Route 2 that runs over the Cascade Mountains. It's a popular tourist destination and, with EVs becoming more popular in the area, soon even tourists with cutting-edge transportation to enjoy the ride. After all, everybody likes a good view.
January 12, 2011
Gustavo Collantes, Commerce Energy Policy, 206.256.6135
Ron Johnston-Rodriguez, Port of Chelan County, 509.663.5159
Amanda Watkins, Edelman Seattle for Washington State Tourism, 206.268.2277
Washington to create nation's first electric vehicle-friendly scenic byway along U.S. 2
Popular Visitors' Destinations in North Central Washington Announce Plans for
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
OLYMPIA, WA –The Department of Commerce and the Washington State Department of Transportation
today announced plans to make the Stevens Pass Greenway the first electric vehicle-friendly National
Scenic Byway route. With Federal Recovery Act funding through the State Energy Program, the state will
install two to three electric vehicle (EV) fast charging stations along U.S. Highway 2. This route will
connect to the I-5 "electric highway" enabling electric vehicle drivers to travel from across the west
coast to North Central Washington by the end of 2011.
In addition to the state's investment, the Port of Chelan County and the Advanced Vehicle Innovations
Consortium in Wenatchee have catalyzed private investment to install Level II charging stations at
popular travel destinations along the U.S. 2 byway route. These destinations include Stevens Pass Ski
Area; Leavenworth's Sleeping Lady Resort and Icicle Ridge Winery; and Wenatchee's Convention Center,
Town Toyota Center and SpringHill Suites by Marriot Wenatchee Hotel. Each of these venues plans to
install Level II charging stations that will allow electric vehicle drivers to "fuel up" while they are enjoying
the location's activities. Level II charging stations will complement the fast-charging stations installed by
the state, which can charge the battery of some electric vehicles from zero to 80 percent in an estimated
"Washington State is proud to announce another important step toward enabling broad adoption of
electric vehicles," said Rogers Weed, Director of the state Department of Commerce. "Partnering to
deliver charging infrastructure is essential in Washington, and this initiative keeps us moving in the right
direction, promoting local jobs, rural businesses and clean energy."
Over a half-dozen additional destination property owners and public entities from Leavenworth to
Chelan are also expected to announce their intentions to purchase and install charging stations by the
time the EV fast charging stations are deployed on U.S. 2.
"Enthusiasm and preparation for electric vehicles arriving in North Central Washington has been
ramping up for the past six years," said Ron Johnston-Rodriguez of the Port of Chelan County,
coordinator of the Advanced Vehicle Innovation (AVI) Consortium and its PluginCenter Charging Station
project. "The State of Washington's collaboration with the Port and its AVI partners has proven to be an
energizing catalyst for community-wide efforts to facilitate and promote charging station deployment in
the region. This investment in electric vehicle infrastructure by both private and public sectors
accelerates the Consortium's timetable for multiple activities to demonstrate and integrate electric
vehicle technology into the fabric of this rural area's tourism industry cluster."
In addition to furthering the state's vision for improving the energy efficiency of Washington's
transportation system, Washington State Tourism plans to promote eco-tourism opportunities in
conjunction with the electrification of U.S. 2. The planned fast-chargers will be strategically located to
support zero-emission, zero-oil travel along the 120-mile byway. The Stevens Pass Greenway is one of
the richest scenic byways in Washington. Originally developed for the Old Great Northern Railroad, this
route winds its way through dense forest, mountain ranges and green valleys, past orchards and
wineries of Wenatchee, family farms and the Bavarian village of Leavenworth.
"Businesses along U.S. 2 rely on tourism," said Marsha Massey, Executive Director of Washington State
Tourism. "With fast charging stations along this scenic byway, travelers will be able to drive electric cars
to popular destinations such as Stevens Pass, Leavenworth and Wenatchee."
For more information, please visit:
Commerce is the lead state agency charged with enhancing and promoting sustainable community and
economic vitality in Washington. For more information, visit www.commerce.wa.gov. For information
on locating or expanding a business in Washington State visit www.choosewashington.com .