Federal grant will pay for stations along Interstate 5

Download a PDF of this story By Elizabeth Bewley • Gannett Washington Bureau • October 21, 2010

WASHINGTON — Oregon will get a $2 million federal grant to build electric-car charging stations along Interstate 5, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

“The new charging stations that will be built with this funding will help affirm Oregon’s position as a national electric vehicle leader,” said Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

The new grant will allow residents to drive electric cars longer distances.

Alleviating this “range anxiety” will encourage Oregonians to buy electric cars such as the Leaf, which will be available in Oregon and other states starting in December, said Art James, a project director at the Oregon Department of Transportation. He added that officials will aim to install charging sites where electric-car drivers need them most.

The charging stations will be free, fast-charge units, which can repower a car in 15-20 minutes.

James said Oregon officials are working with Washington, California and British Columbia to create a “green highway” that would allow people to recharge electric cars anywhere along the Pacific corridor. Last month, Oregon was awarded $700,000 in federal stimulus funds to install as many as eight charging sites from Eugene to the California border.

Contact Elizabeth Bewley at ebewley@gannett.com.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20101021/NEWS/10210331/1001/news#ixzz131mK29vQ

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