Electrifying West Coast Travel

September 22, 2020 10:30 pm

When we bought the Oregon and Washington State legs of the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH) earlier this summer, our goal was to promote the idea of responsible mobility by providing a carbon-neutral infrastructure that allowed EV drivers greater freedom of range in their travels. We hoped this would be welcomed news during a time when so many other distractions were dominating the news cycle. But as the pandemic persisted and the effects of the lockdown continued to ravage local economies, we realized that our contiguous network of DC fast chargers might serve another equally noble if somewhat unintended purpose: to facilitate much-needed tourism activity at some of the Pacific Northwest’s most picturesque points of interest. 

Environmentally friendly forms of transportation allow those with a travel bug to enjoy some of nature’s most visually arresting treasures with a minimal carbon footprint while also providing tax dollars to the local economies who use such monies to maintain these lands. Many would-be travelers aren’t even aware that such treasures exist, but the convenient placement of many EVCS stations near natural wonders, landmarks and historic sites makes discovering them far easier than in the past. In fact, many of our chargers themselves are destination points, allowing travelers time to hike, bike and kayak, eat and drink, take photos and explore – all while their EVs power up. Locations include state parks, visitor centers, casinos and restaurants.

We think, perhaps, there’s real value in the WCEH’s ability to pull in EV drivers from far-reaching cities and states, allowing greater numbers of eco-conscious citizens – those most likely to enjoy such serene natural beauty – to feel comfortable knowing their mode of transport isn’t having an adverse effect on local wildlife or air quality. According to Annette Pitts, director of Washington State tourism non-profit The Cascade Loop, in a 2018 Yes! Magazine interview, one could gauge the success of the WCEH by the number of EVs driving around with out-of-state plates. “It used to just be Washington state, people probably within Seattle,” she was quoted as saying. “Now I see people driving down from Canada, people from California, people from Texas, and the Midwest even.”

Photo of Thor’s Well by John Fowler

So, which destinations are the top-ranked choices to see? Well, we definitely have our favorites, so if you have a limited amount of time to explore, we’d like to recommend you at least hit the following:

Thor’s Well is a stunning 20-foot sinkhole that likely started as a sea cave and sits just four miles from our Yachats, Oregon charging station.

Charge up in Redmond before making the trek out to the Painted Hills in Wheeler County, which have been labeled one of the “Seven Wonders of Oregon.” Stop off in the ghost town of Shaniko on your way there.

Crater Lake, famous for its vivid blue hue and snow-fed purity, is the deepest lake in the United States at 1,943 feet. It’s also within range of five EVCS charge points. 

Cannon Beach, just a half mile from our charging station, was named one of the world’s 100 most beautiful places by Nat Geo in 2013 and has served as a backdrop in several famous movies, including The Goonies and Twilight.

Travel three miles from our Burlington chargers to see the vibrant tulip fields of Washington’s Skagit Valley.

Snoqualmie Falls is a 270-foot-high marvel by a two-acre park complete with gift shop, observation deck and in close proximity to our Snoqualmie Pass charging station.

Read more about the West Coast Electric Highway here: https://evcs.com/wceh

And here: http://www.westcoastgreenhighway.com/electrichighway.htm

See a map of all Washington and Oregon charging sites here: https://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/Programs/Electric%20Vehicle%20library/Electric%20Hwy%20Map-REV_4-15.pdf

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