ECOtality, one of the largest suppliers of electric vehicle charging equipment and networks, today announced that they will be expanding the EV Project in Oregon to include DC fast charging stations on the southern stretch of Interstate 5 in Oregon. This announcement came hand-in-hand with Oregon's governor, Ted Kulongoski, committing to spending his state's own funds to install more DC fast charging stations to fill in any missing holes.
(DC fast charging = fill your battery from empty to 80% full in less than 30 minutes)
The addition of this southern leg will add to the already planned extensive charging coverage on the northern portion of I-5 from Portland to Eugene, and would make Oregon the first state to have a complete DC fast charging network from north to south along one of the most heavily-traveled highways in the nation—although the state of Washington may have something to say about that.
"Our vision for Oregon is to create an electrified highway so that Oregonians, and our visitors, can travel throughout our state on business and leisure using the next generation of clean, electric vehicles," said Governor Ted Kulongoski. "With the partnership of the federal government, our utility companies, local governments and private companies like ECOtality, we are quickly turning that vision into a reality."
As many of you know, the EV Project—a joint effort of ECOtality, Nissan, Chevrolet, and the US Department of Energy among others—seeks to install a vast network of charging stations in selected regions over the course of the next year to support the coming onslaught of plug-in vehicles. ECOtality is the supervising manger of the EV Project, and will oversee the construction of $230 million worth of electric vehicle infrastructure. The public-private initiative is funded with a $114.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy stimulus funds and is on track to install 15,000 charging stations by June 2011. With the solidification of plans for I-5 in Oregon, the vision of an electrified highway from "Baja to B.C." is one step closer to reality.
"Oregon is leading the West Coast in the adoption of EV infrastructure," stated Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. "With this announcement, residents will be able to travel the entire state of Oregon, from the Washington border in the north to the California border in the south, and can rely on the EV infrastructure ECOtality is installing. In the future, ECOtality hopes to expand our deployment on the I-5 corridor to link the West Coast from Mexico to Canada."
In addition to the DC fast charging stations, ECOtality will place approximately 20 Level 2 stations in Medford and Ashland. The expansion of charging infrastructure into Southern Oregon was spearheaded by area stakeholders, including the Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition, and the newest EV Project national partner, PacifiCorp.