EV drivers are putting the West Coast Electric Highway to use – new data from the Washington state Department of Transportation shows that the state’s 14 DC fast charging stations have delivered more than 10,000 charges since the first of them went into service in May 2012. Total monthly usage doubled to 1,125 charging sessions in September from 528 the previous September.
“The usage is steady and strong and the numbers keep climbing,” said Tonia Buell, a state transportation spokeswoman, adding that there are now more than 5,000 plug-in vehicles registered in Washington.
Unsurprisingly, some chargers are seeing more use than others. Stations in Bellingham, Burlington and Tumwater have seen frequent line-ups, while stations in Wenatchee and Ferndale have been used only about 10 times per month.
Washington received $1.6 million in funding from the DOE, and hired contractor AeroVironment to install fast chargers along I-5. The network was designed to complement the EV Project in the Seattle area but, according to Buell, EV Project contractor Ecotality only installed about half of the fast charging stations planned in the Puget Sound region before it filed for bankruptcy in September.
Success is also being reported in Oregon, where 34 charging stations have been deployed along I-5, Highway 101 and other major routes. Since the first ones opened in March 2012, drivers have logged nearly 10,000 charge events, said state transportation spokeswoman Ashley Horvat.
LEAF driver Miles Erickson told Komo News that he has often had to wait for other drivers to finish charging, and would like to see more stations installed.