The nation’s first electric car-friendly scenic tourism route is moving right along. As previously announced, the Washington Department of Commerce—in collaboration with several partners, including the Plugin Center—will install two or three electric car fast charging stations using federal funds at yet-to-be-chosen locations along Highway 2 over Stevens Pass by the end of 2011.

These high speed charging stations will allow properly equipped electric cars to make the trip from Seattle to tourist destinations in North Central Washington—opening up exciting new branding and marketing opportunities for local businesses. In fact, many local North Central Washington businesses are already lining up to take advantage of this new opportunity—including the Stevens Pass Ski Area; Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady Resort and Icicle Ridge Winery; and Wenatchee’s Convention CenterTown Toyota Center and SpringHill Suites by Marriot Wenatchee hotel.

This new EV-friendly scenic tourism route will form an extension of the already planned I-5 electric vehicle highway, which will eventually allow EV drivers to go from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA. When complete, North Central Washington will represent the furthest destination that EV drivers can travel on that route.

Informational Meetings Planned

To prepare local residents for the new concept of EV tourism, the Washington Departments of Commerce and Transportation will be hosting two informational meetings. The meetings are meant to help local partners prepare for an alternate fuel future.

Who Should Attend:

Representatives from Economic Development Councils, Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Bureaus, Cities and Counties, Businesses, and other interested parties.

Meeting #1:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
2:00-3:30 p.m.
Sleeping Lady Resort Woodpecker Building, 7375 Icicle Road Leavenworth, WA 98826

Please RSVP to:
Ron Johnston-Rodriguez, Economic Development Director Port of Chelan County

Meeting #2:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Sultan City Hall 319 Main St # 200; Sultan, WA 98294

Please RSVP to:
Sally Harris, Regional Manager Washington State Department of Commerce

Agenda for Both Meetings:

  1. Find out about public and private investments in electric vehicle infrastructure in our state and region, and the coming transition to electric vehicles. Who: Ron Johnston-Rodriguez, Port of Chelan County and Gustavo Collantes, State Energy Office, Washington State Department of Commerce
  2. Learn about how counties, cities, and towns can prepare for electric vehicle infrastructure. Who: Anne Fritzel, Growth Management Services, Washington State Department of Commerce
  3. Hear about opportunities to host or install electric vehicle chargers along Highway 2, and the kind of sites and partnerships which best support electric vehicle infrastructure. Who: Representative from Public-Private Partnerships, Washington State Department of Transportation