As gas prices drop in the U.S., so do electric vehicle (EV) sales. Cost is king for many consumers considering making the switch from gas to electric, so lower prices at the pump have a way of lowering consumer interest in abandoning the pump completely. Yet while current interest in electric vehicles is tied to cutting fuel expenses, with almost every major automaker ramping up development of their EV lineup to meet federal emissions standards, the future of EV sales lies in easing drivers’ “range anxiety.”
While car companies are still stepping their game up on the range front, the Washington State and Oregon State Departments of Transportation, in conjunction with the California Governor’s Office, are teaming up to make the West Coast, and the Pacific Northwest in particular, the best region in the country for EV owners.
Last week we wrote about the relative cleanliness of Oregon and Washington’s grid, which draws primarily from hydroelectric power, but for most of us, diminishing our carbon footprint isn’t appealing enough to risk getting stranded by the side of the road when our battery runs out. Well, if you’re driving on Interstate 5, you can kiss range anxiety goodbye.
Next time you go for a drive on the 5, keep an eye out for blue EV charging station signs. There’s an EV DC fast-charging station every 25-50 miles on the 5, and even more charging stations that don’t offer the fast-charge feature. That means that the states with some of the cleanest, greenest energy are also the easiest states to travel long distances all-electric.
Unlike most electric vehicles, the Soul EV comes standard with fast-charge capability. That means you can drive 160 miles with a half-hour charging break in the middle, perfect for eating, shopping, or grabbing a cup of coffee to break up a long drive. We’re a long way from EVs completely replacing gasoline cars, but if that day ever comes, there’s a good chance the West Coast will lead the way.