What is the West Coast Green Highway?
How does this initiative reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, and advance energy independence?
What are some of the key elements of the West Coast Green Highway?
How is the west coast getting ready for Plug-In Electric Vehicles?
What legislation and agreements help advance alternative fuels?
The West Coast Green Highway is an initiative to promote the use of cleaner fuels. By increasing the market demand for high-efficiency, zero- and low-carbon-emitting vehicles, this initiative aims to reduce the transportation sector’s impact upon the environment and dependency on foreign oil.
The West Coast Green Highway is the 1,350 miles of Interstate 5 (I-5) stretching from the U.S. border with Canada, through Washington, Oregon, and California, to the U.S. border with Mexico. Designated a “Corridor of the Future” by the U.S. Department of Transportation, I-5 could soon become the nation’s cleanest, greenest, and smartest highway. The drivers of hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks that travel on this major roadway each day soon may select from a menu of clean alternative fuel such as natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, or hydrogen.
The West Coast Green Highway initiative strengthens the economy with environmentally sustainable transportation options. By encouraging a shift from petroleum-based fuels to alternative fuels with low or no carbon emissions, the initiative helps meet national greenhouse gas reduction goals and creates green-technology jobs.
On the west coast, the transportation sector accounts for a large portion of the total greenhouse-gas emissions. The West Coast Green Highway initiative contributes to a full suite of strategies needed to reduce transportation emissions:
Encouraged by President Obama’s remarks lauding the green highway, the states and province are collaborating to establish electric vehicle infrastructure standards, guidelines, and consistent signage. Some of the key elements include:
The west coast is getting ready for the electric vehicles (EVs) expected to roll out during the next couple of years from major auto manufacturers such as Ford, Nissan, and Chevrolet.
President Obama established a goal of bringing 1 million plug-in hybrid vehicles onto this country’s roads by 2015 and his administration has provided $2.4 billion in federal grants to develop next-generation electric vehicles and batteries.
Three of five states selected for “The EV Project,” the nation’s largest deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure, are on the west coast. Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Tennessee are participating in the $230 million Department of Energy project. Nissan plans to deliver thousands of zero-emission LEAF electric cars to a waiting list of buyers starting this December. A charging equipment manufacturer, Ecotality, will install thousands of EV charging stations in homes and public places.
The EV industry, utilities, government agencies, commuters and others are planning where to install the public charging stations. A continuous chain of charging stations along I-5 would enable people to drive electric vehicles to almost anywhere in the Pacific Coast states. Public charging sites will be placed along the West Coast Green Highway at shopping malls, safety rest areas, and park and ride lots to allow EV users to travel between major cities such as Seattle and Portland.
Washington State’s transportation and commerce departments are teaming up to implement the nation’s first “electric highway,” an initial network of public access electric vehicle (EV) recharging locations along Interstate 5. Once implemented, Washington will have the first border to border highway to offer fast charge technology. Questions and answers are published about the electric highway project.
Legislation, initiatives, and incentives help advance the acceptance of alternative fuels and stimulate private infrastructure investment. Visit the Resources page to get links to alternative fuel legislation and the Partners page to learn about agreements among the states and province.
|1,350||Miles on I-5 from Canada to Mexico|
|550||Miles on I-5 through heavily congested urban areas|
|71,000-300,000||Number of vehicles on I-5 daily|
|10,000-35,000||Number of commercial trucks on I-5 daily|
|150,000||Number of vehicles on I-5 daily by 2035 without further improvement to the corridor|
|95%||Portion of I-5 projected to be heavily congested by 2035 without major intervention source: USDOT|