Driving Between Canada and Oregon? Take the Electric Highway

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With the mainstreaming of electric cars on the horizon, the Washington state government has decided to embrace the technology and make the roads just a little bit more welcoming for electric-car drivers. A $1.32 million grant has been provided for the creation of the nation’s first electric-friendly highly.

The grant money will be spent to place recharging stations sporadically along a stretch of I-5. The initial plan is to play 10 stations along the interstate, 80 miles apart from one another. The estimated range of charge for most electrics is 100 miles, so this will hopefully be sufficiently within that range.

The one problem, and this isn’t the highway’s fault, is that it will take a very long time to actually recharge every time. The popular estimate is that it will take about 30 minutes to charge up to 80%, meaning that you’d have to charge for the full half hour just to get enough juice to make it to the next charging station. If you spend 35 minutes to err on the side of caution, and stop at all the stations, that’s almost six hours added to your commute.

Even with this overly inconvenient setback, it’s still exciting that someone’s actually trying this out. Electric cars will never be viable if you can’t take them out on the highway. Eventually, as all technology gets faster, smaller, stronger, etc., we may have electric highways that still let you proceed at a tolerable pace. Maybe in a really future-y future the road will charge your car WHILE YOU DRIVE OVER IT. We can dream.

(Via Autoblog Green via Inhabitat via Dvice)


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