Fast charging for electric vehicles is coming to Washington State. Actually, it's already here, but there are several programs at the state and local level that are working diligently to increase the number of fast charging stations, which will make driving an electric vehicle even easier than it already is. At our November networking event held in Seattle, WA, we explored these initiatives with three representatives of the charging station ecosystem. Here's what you need to know about the expansion of fast charging infrastructure in Washington State from our guest speakers:
Tonia Buell, Project Development Manager, Washington State Department of Transportation
- Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is working to connect regions with a system of charging stations. WSDOT's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (EVIPP) has awarded funding to the installation of fast charging stations along I-5, I-90 and I-82, to connect eastern and western Washington and build on the West Coast Electric Highway. Long distance travel is about to get very easy for those in a zero-emission vehicle.
- The future of fast charging is exciting. Washington State has a goal of 50,000 plug-in electric vehicles by 2020 (and they're halfway there!), which means the state is actively investing in fast charging infrastructure.
Brendan O'Donnell, Manager of Strategy, Planning & Analytics, Seattle City Light
- From an economic standpoint, investing in electric vehicle infrastructure makes sense for Seattle City Light, the city's electric utility, and will also support Seattle's goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.
- 20 fast charging stations in 10 - 15 locations around the city will be installed as part of Seattle City Light's urban fast charging pilot. The ground was broken at Beacon Hill, the first site, earlier in November.
Terry O'Day, Vice President, EVgo
- High-speed public charging is what will drive the market. The charging station market has been growing exponentially since 2012 and EVgo has just celebrated the installation of 1,000 stations across the U.S.
- The significant increase in battery capacity of electric vehicles means they can travel farther. Charging station infrastructure must be available to accommodate these drivers and EVgo will be working with Forth, SemaConnect and ABB as part of EVIPP to build up the I-5 corridor.
Tonia's presentation can be viewed here:
Brendan's presentation can be viewed here:
Terry's presentation can be viewed here: