Look for this symbol along the highway to find electric vehicle fast-charging stations.
As manufacturers offer vehicles that operate on biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen, natural gas, and propane, alternative fuel and electric vehicle charging stations are becoming more prevalent around the United States. The US Department of Energy, Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center website has a comprehensive website on alternative fuel station information and locations.
There are many sites that have charging station maps. A few are listed here, but please be sure to check multiple sites, as things are changing quickly.
The following manufacturers of charging stations also have their own locators to find their stations:
You may need a Key fob or RFID card to operate the charging stations. While many charging stations are offering a free trial period, this is likely to change soon. Some locations will charge by the time connected to the station, others may charge a fee for use of the parking spot, and others will offer monthly subscription services for unlimited use. A number of equipment vendors will have membership or access cards that will get you easy access or a lower fee for your charging needs. Although right now you might not need one, consider signing up to get an access card so you are ready to plug in on the go.
With all the buzz on electric vehicles and EV charging stations here is an overview of what people on the west coast can expect during the next couple of years:
The West Coast is a key region for the nation’s largest deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Washington, Oregon and California were among six states selected to participate in The EV Project, a $230 million U.S. Department of Energy project to spur electric vehicle ownership and infrastructure. Nissan North American and General Motors/Chevrolet are partners in The EV Project and will launch a total of 8,300 electric vehicles to select markets. Drivers of the Nissan LEAF zero-emissions electric car and the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid with extended range, who qualify to participate in The EV Project will receive a free residential charger.
The EV Project test markets
ECOtality North America is deploying nearly 15,000 Blink charging stations in 16 cities and the District of Columbia including homes, public spaces and commercial areas. Major population areas along the West Coast Green Highway to get the vehicles and chargers include Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Eugene, OR, Salem, OR, Corvallis, OR ,Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA.
Expanding on The EV Project, Coulomb Technologies will deliver nearly free home and public EV charging stations through ChargePoint America, through a $37 million transportation electrification project through the Department of Energy. The ChargePoint America program will provide at total of 4,800 charging stations to program participants in nine regions in the United States who purchase Ford, Chevrolet and smart USA electric vehicles. West coast cities to benefit include Bellevue/Redmond, WA, San Jose/San Francisco Bay Area, CA, Sacramento, CA, Los Angeles, CA.
The West Coast Electric Highway connects electric vehicle drivers with fast charging between EV-friendly communities along Interstate 5 and other major roadways. State Departments of Transportation are collaborating on the West Coast Electric Highway. The Washington State Department of Transportation leads the charge on the Washington segment and the Oregon Department of Transportation leads the charge on the Oregon segment.