EVCS, the electric vehicle (EV) fast charging network supporting the West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH), has announced that EV drivers can temporarily recharge for free at WCEH charging stations in Oregon and Washington. The free period has already begun and continues until upgrades on the charging network are completed, which is estimated to be in late 2021 or early 2022.
The company has been funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to upgrade 44 charging sites, add three new stations, and turn 11 existing stations into "superstations" in the Oregon portion of the WCEH.
The WCEH is an extensive network of 56 EVCS-owned DC Fast Charging and Level 2 240-Volt charging stations located along I-5, US-101, and other major West Coast corridors.
To use the free charging, EV drivers simply arrive at the chargers and push a green button to start charging the vehicle. Drivers with an existing EVCS subscription will receive refunds if they have already paid.
"A huge part of EVCS' mission is to provide accessible charging infrastructure to EV drivers and owners," said Gustavo Occhiuzzo, CEO of EVCS. "Our collaboration with ODOT to upgrade the West Coast Electric Highway will help increase driver confidence in going electric as we seek to combat climate change through our sustainable charging stations."
As each site's upgrade to the new, renewable EVCS network is completed, the free charging offer will end at that site, and EV drivers will be able to sign up for an EVCS subscription plan that includes monthly unlimited EV charging or a pay-as-you-go option. Various payment methods will be available including the EVCS app, PlugShare app, QR codes, and credit card readers. Drivers can check the PlugShare app for the most up-to-date status of each charging site and see whether or not it is offering free charging.
"EVCS' offer of free charging along the West Coast Electric Highway is a really nice gesture to the nearly 37,000 EV drivers in Oregon," said Travis Brouwer, ODOT assistant director for Revenue, Finance and Compliance. "We're excited about our public-private partnership, and the upgrades will help us reach our goals of increasing EV ownership and reducing emissions from transportation in Oregon."
The upgrade will bring major changes to the WCEH. EVCS will replace existing CHAdeMO-only DC fast chargers with new DC fast Chargers that have both CCS-combo and CHAdeMO charging capability. This will allow all Oregon EV drivers to use the WCEH stations. Eleven of the locations will be further upgraded to feature three DC Fast Chargers and a single Level 2 AC charger. For Tesla drivers, the CHAdeMO connector, with a Tesla adapter, will be available for use at all EVCS stations. A 120-Volt outlet will also be available at every WCEH station for e-bikes and scooters.
Finally, EVCS will add three new stations, though the exact locations of those stations have not yet been finalized. The new station locations and their in-service dates will be announced when all agreements are concluded.
For more information about EVCS, visit: https://evcs.com/. For information about the West Coast Electric Highway, visit http://www.westcoastgreenhighway.com/.
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