The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), AeroVironment and the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) opened the first phase of the West Coast Electric Highway, according to a March 16 press release. The highway is expected to ultimately stretch along Interstate 5 from the Canadian to Mexican borders.

ODOE awarded ODOT $915,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding through ODOE’s State Energy Program to install AeroVironment electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Spaced at about 25-mile intervals along the southern Oregon I-5, the charging hubs provide EV owners access to a network of electric “refueling” stations. Each location has two charging stations including one DC “fast” charger, which provides a full charge for an EV in less than 30 minutes.

“EV drivers will be able to travel from Ashland to Portland at a fraction of the cost of filling a gas tank, and with no direct emissions,” said Pat Egan, chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission and vice president of customer and community affairs for Pacific Power.

Plans call for more than 40 additional charging stations from AeroVironment in Oregon and Washington by the end of the year.

EV drivers will be able to activate access to the charging stations by signing up for AV’s Charging Network; AeroVironment is also providing free charging for a limited time. For more information, visit