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I-5 highway to get 100 new electric car charging stations

SEATTLE (NEWS1130) – Vancouver is putting in charging stations to promote the local use of electric cars – but you may soon be able to drive one to Disneyland.

Tonia Buell with Washington State’s transportation department says by spring there will be at least 100 electric car charging stations along the Interstate 5 (I-5), from the southern border of Oregon all the way to the Peace Arch. The goal is to eventually have those stations reach all the way down to the California-Mexico border.

“The locations that we’re looking at, like here at the shopping centre where I am now, are private retail locations that are right off the highway,” Buell tells News1130.

The stations are being put in every 65 to 95 km, and drivers will be able to charge up in 30 minutes.

It’s one more piece of the puzzle in place as governments scramble to come up with ways to reduce consumers’ reliance on fossil fuels. The I-5 is already known as the “hydrogen highway,” with plans for specialized gas stations from California to BC.

North of the border, a handful of electric vehicle charging stalls have popped up in Vancouver, and earlier this month BC launched an incentive program offering residents $5,000 off the sticker price of a qualifying clean energy vehicles.

Blair Qualey with the New Car Dealers Association of BC says the technologies are so new that only about a dozen qualifying vehicles have been sold in BC this year, but like any new technology, as more people buy them prices will start to come down.

Sticker prices for green cars like the Nissan Leaf and Smart Fortwo are currently in the range of $30,000 to $40,000.