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2013 Environmental Excellence Awards

Air Quality Improvement and Climate Change

Project Title

Building the West Coast Electric Highway for a Cleaner, Energy-Independent Future

Agencies Awarded

Oregon Department of Transportation

  • Matthew Garrett, Ashley Horvat

Washington State Department of Transportation

  • Tonia Buell, Jeff Doyle, Lynn Peterson

Project Contributors

AeroVironment, Inc.

  • Charlie Botsford, Justine Brody, Bill Campbell, Wahid Nawabi, John Richardson, Michael Stefun, Frank Wong

Business Oregon

  • Mark Brady, Tim McCabe

Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition

  • Julie Peacock, Rick Wallace

Drive Oregon

  • Jeff Allen, Emmaline Pohnl

Energize Oregon Coalition

  • Ashley Horvat, Jeff Allen

Office of Governor John A. Kitzhaber

  • Governor John A. Kitzhaber

Oregon Department of Energy

  • Julie Peacock, Lisa Schwartz, Rick Wallace

Oregon Electric Vehicle Association

  • John Christian, Patrick Connor, Gary Graunke

Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition

  • Melissa Stiles

The West Coast Electric Highway is an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging stations that will facilitate the use of non-petroleum fuel sources in the Pacific Northwest. With the help of $3.34 million in TIGER II grant funding, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and its partners are creating a border-to-border system of 43 EV fast-charging stations. This system will enable a shift towards electric transportation by expanding the usage of an EV beyond its typical battery range of around 100 miles. Emissions from an EV are significantly less than those of a conventional automobile and because EVs produce zero local emissions, this shift will likely result in significant air quality improvements.

ODOT is partnering with the Washington State Department of Transportation and others to create a regional EV charging network along Interstate 5 (I-5) and along corridors radiating out from I-5. The completion of this project in 2014 will decrease reliance on petroleum-based fuel sources in the transportation sector across the region, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the economic costs of petroleum-based transportation. ODOT's innovative efforts demonstrate new possibilities for a sustainable transportation infrastructure in the 21st century.

Photo of an S curve in a road with 4 cars and a gas station in the background.
A convoy of EVs departs after charging up off the West Coast Electric Highway.
Photo: ODOT

Updated: 09/11/2013
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