Posting in Energy
A 160-mile stretch of Interstate 5 in Oregon is now up and running, with EV charging stations located every 25 miles along the route.
Electric vehicle owners driving up the northwest coast of the U.S. need no longer fear the so-called 'range anxiety' that plagues EV motorists.
On March 16, the first section of the futuristically-named West Coast Electric Highway opened for traffic along Interstate 5 in Oregon. Along the 160-mile stretch of highway, running from Ashland to Cottage Grove, public charging stations have been installed at 25-mile intervals. These stations are located off the highway near restaurants, gas stations and other highway businesses.
Each location includes a 480-volt Level 3 D.C. fast-charger, which can reportedly charge 80 percent of a Nissan Leaf's battery in up to 25 minutes, as well as a 220-volt Level 2 charger, which can charge a typical electric car in four to seven hours. The Level 2 chargers are necessary, since some EVs and plug-in hybrids do not have fast-charge ports.
The Oregon portion of the 'electric highway' is expected be completed early next year, and the entire highway will eventually stretch along Interstate 5 from Vancouver, British Columbia, all the way to San Diego. The charging stations in Oregon and eventually in Washington will be operated by AeroVironment, an electric infrastructure company. At the moment, Oregon users may charge their cars for free, but they must register for an ID card in order to use the charging stations.
via [New York Times]
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Mar 21, 2012
Long distance travel in an EV will not be practical until EV range improves to over 300 miles and recharge times become comparable to refueling a car with gas, 2 to 4 minutes.
It is so much easier, cheaper, and safer to put in charging stations rather than gas stations. It's no problem having them 25 miles apart or even closer. It's so easy for retail stores to put them in for customers. They can even make money on them. Thus almost eliminates the 'range anxiety' of electric cars. Let's get the charging stations on all highways. It's a nobrainer.
Long term support of EVs is a great reason for a distributed power grid. The former owner of a local gas station/convenience store chain, with stores located mostly on Cape Cod, had a great idea. He wanted to install solar panels on his pump canopies to charge batteries to support EV charging stations. That way he could still charge vehicles even during a regional power outage. He ran into opposition from towns and neighbors who felt the panels were not in keeping with the aesthetics of Cape Cod. To those who have read on the matter, does this sound a little like the Kennedys opposition to Cape Wind because it would spoil the view from their compound on Marthas Vineyard? It must be something in the water that brings out the NIMBY in the normally liberal residents of Cape Cod and the islands.
Here in Oregon over half the electricity comes from hydroelectric power. There is lots of wind power along the Columbia River Gorge but not much solar yet. Oregon also gets some power from nuclear plants in Washington and a coal power plant in Boardman, OR and some coal plants in Wyoming. To add to the wind power story, in 2010 wind produced 7.1% of the electricity generated in Oregon. As of 2011 Oregon has about 2500 Megawatts of installed capacity with more on the way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Oregon
These charging stations are currently free to use, they're getting the electricity from the electric company, the gov't. is paying for this. Sounds like Oregon had better start paying for everyone's gasoline/diesel otherwise the taxpayers are paying for someone else to use these things that they don't get to benefit from. If I lived in Oregon I would be livid that they're paying to "fuel" electric cars with no consideration for gas powered cars.
No...if I want to drive to the beach, it's a 5 hour drive from my house...there is *NO* way an EV can make it there in even one day....Even *IF* there are charge stations every 25 miles!