The scope of the project was extended to include British Columbia, Canada and the West Coast Electric Highway was born.
In 2012, Aerovironment installed Fast Chargers along I-5 with the goal of making it possible for an EV like the Nissan LEAF to travel from Canada all the way to Mexico. Oregon and Washington completed their legs rather quickly but California ran into obstacles which meant making the trip in a LEAF was not a "viable" one with the vision of the project.
But Washington's great start on the network of public charging was complicated by competing companies, jurisdictional restrictions and lack of continuous support. Also a lot of money was spent for level 2 charging that was and is underutilized in far too many areas.
But the few DCFCs installed by Aerovironment (AV) Blink and a handful of others did alleviate the strain on the stations installed at Nissan dealerships while Tesla showed us just how valuable a truly effective network could be.
Oregon used the West Coast Green Highway idea to electrify their coast along with the Columbia River Valley and the Central Oregon region. Being an EVer there was a dream! But I was only a visitor. Don't get me wrong! Oregon is a beautiful state with a lot to see but so is Washington!
So, Thursday, August 2nd, I turned away from the coast and headed towards the passes of the Cascades to usher in the next/new chapter of the West Coast Electric Highway in Yakima, Washington!
As always, my car outlasted me in the "needs" department so I stopped at Snoqualmie for a break and grabbed a handful of electrons. The line for the two bathrooms at Summit Deli was making me regret passing up on North Bend but at the time, my need was barely a twing and I still had 65% SOC!
In the end, all came out just fine and after 14 minutes and 8.372 kwh, I was on my way to my first "planned" stop of Ellensburg, WA. Since it was only 145 miles from my house, it was quite reachable and charging there was key to the reason for going to Yakima which I will touch on soon.
As always, Ellensburg is a great location to charge because it has literally everything. So much to do and see and eat here. If you are planning a trip thru the area and need a long charge, Ellensburg is the place! This would be my 3rd time charging here and each time I have explored in different directions and so off I was headed South then East. Since it was early a few local favorites weren't open (Most opened at 10:30 I noticed) so I got off easy with just a few donuts from ABC donuts which I discovered after walking well over a mile. (They were two blocks East of the station...)