Oregon’s Portion of West Coast Electric Highway to Grow


EV owners rejoice! Enhanced and expanded EV charging stations are coming to Oregon’s portion of the West Coast Electric Highway

Salem, OR — Oregon Department of Transportation’s partner, EV Charging Solutions, will upgrade all 44 of the highway’s charging stations and add three new ones to the network. The upgrades will add more charger types and upgrade existing ones to serve a wider range of electric vehicles. The effort begins October 2021 and should be complete by 2023, bringing the total upgraded or added charging ports to 100.

Oregonians with electric vehicles will soon have more choices for charging.

ODOT was able to source $4.1 million in funding for the upgrades from a mix of federal and state funds, plus a 20% match from EVCS. Upgrades to the WCEH are part of the agency’s commitment to electrify Oregon’s transportation system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. The agency’s Strategic Action Plan specifically calls for tripling the number of electric vehicles on Oregon’s roads by the end of 2023: having EV stations updated and available is the first step.

When the project is finished, EV Charging Solutions’ upgrades will:

  • Replace the existing CHAdeMO-only DC fast chargers with new DC fast chargers that have both CCS-combo and CHAdeMO DCFC charging capability.
  • Install a new 120 volt outlet for electric bikes and scooters.
  • Replace the existing Level 2 AC chargers.
  • Add a CHAdeMO adaptor for Tesla drivers.

Eleven of the 47 stations will be “superstations” with three DC fast chargers and one Level 2 AC charger.

Meeting the need

The West Coast Electric Highway is a network of charging stations that stretches down the west coast of Canada and the United States, from British Columbia to Baja California in Mexico. In Oregon, the WCEH charging stations are located on and near I-5 and U.S. 101. There are numerous other EV charging stations located throughout the state – at a variety of grocery stores and shopping malls, in many public building parking lots and more – but in total, there aren’t near enough of them.

Earlier this summer, ODOT’s Climate Office team completed a study called the “Transportation Electrification Infrastructure Needs Analysis,” which showed the state will need five times as many EV charging stations as are now available by 2025, in order to support the state’s goal of having EVs on our roads. The WCEH is a small expansion, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

You can learn more about what ODOT is doing to reduce the impacts of climate change on the state by visiting the Climate Office website.

About Author

Matt Noble is a Communication Specialist with Oregon Department of Transportation.

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