SALEM — Just how far can you get in an electric vehicle?
Drivers in Oregon have traveled more than 3 million all-electric miles powered directly by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)‘s West Coast Electric Highway network of chargers.
And many of these trips wouldn’t be possible without this network. The network of 44 stations remains the only high-speed charging option in many parts of Oregon, including most of the Oregon Coast, and on important routes connecting the Willamette Valley to central Oregon.
Tawnia W. lives in Creswell, where she mostly uses trickle charging at home, but for travel outside the area, she relies on the series of stations.
“Without the West Coast Electric Highway, I simply wouldn’t be able to travel to our beautiful coast or visit family that lives south of me,” she says.
Mac Z. says the West Coast Electric Highway allows him to drive beyond the Newport area, where he lives, using his electric Kia Soul.
“It lets me go to the valley or up to Portland or down to Coos Bay, which I wouldn’t be able to do,” he says. “It makes it really convenient, because most of the chargers that are available near stores and stuff now are only 220 volt, and it would take too much time to charge up. But with these chargers, it’s just like 15 or 20 minutes and I’m ready to go again.”
Alice W. of Eugene uses the network for her commute in her Nissan Leaf.
“As an owner of an electric car, I am incredibly thankful to the state of Oregon and ODOT for putting up the fast chargers because my home charger will get me around town, but my main purpose for having an electric car is to commute across the coastal mountains, and I can’t do that on my own,” she says. “I need the public charging stations.”
Visit Go Electric Oregon to learn about State of Oregon agencies focused on supporting electric vehicle adoption and infrastructure in the state.
Read more environment articles in our “Environment” section!