Special thanks to GWATA and North 40 for the above video. 

Advanced Vehicle Innovations (AVI) consortium

In 2005 the Port of Chelan County convened over a dozen public and private entities in North Central Washington to form the Advanced Vehicle Innovations (AVI) consortium. Its purpose: to explore emergent technologies for powering vehicles with electricity from the grid; identify associated economic opportunities that could be realistically developed in the region; and facilitate activities to bring those opportunities to fruition.

Key to the Port’s rationale for launching this activity was its recognition of an exceptional local asset: a robust supply of low-cost, clean, renewable hydroelectricity generated by several nearby publicly-owned dams on the Columbia River.

Plugin Center

In 2006, AVI consortium members designed and launched, with the Port as lead, the ‘PluginCenter’ project. Its objective: to establish North Central Washington as a unique center for research, development, demonstrations, information, education, and community-wide deployment of electrified vehicles. The consortium endeavors to accomplish this by coordinating the provision of:

  • Attractive, interesting exhibits and real-world demonstrations of electrified vehicles and related infrastructure
  • Multiple points of access to electric vehicle experiences for local citizens, visitors, tourists, business groups, and conferees
  • Education and training workshops for the public, technicians, businesses, fleets, educators, electricians, first responders, and students
  • Networking opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors
  • Assistance to expedite development of a business in the EV sector, e.g., conversions; research and development; component manufacturing; etc.
  • Charging station deployment guidance for local communities
  • Vehicle-acquisition evaluation and consolidator services for public and private organizations
  • A website to engage public conversation about the exciting activities and developing community vision for electrifying transportation in North Central Washington


Following are some of the key accomplishments of the consortium and/or individual members that have contributed to the PluginCenter’s growing reputation:

Evolution into Plug-In North Central Washington

In 2011, PluginCenter was spun off from the Port of Chelan County to become its own non-profit entity. As a non-profit, Plug-In NCW is currently a wholly owned subsidiary of the North Central Washington Economic Development District. We have a board of 5 individuals and regular monthly meetings. On average we organize 5-6 EVents every year for fun, education and increasing EV awareness. We are currently spearheading several projects that are unique in the nation to spur rural EV growth and infrastructure with the purpose of encouraging EV tourism.

Our current mission:

Serve as a catalyst and resource for deployment of electric vehicles and infrastructure to encourage EV tourism and provide local economic benefit by: 

  • Coordinating strategically located charging infrastructure.
  • Coordinating demonstrations of electric vehicles and associated technologies.
  • Educational outreach regarding electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.