January 13, 2011
Come spring, expect to see more plug-in cars zipping into town. Yesterday the Department of Commerce
and the Washington State Department of Transportation officially announced plans to make the Stevens Pass Greenway
the first electric vehicle-friendly National Scenic Byway route.
Using Federal Recovery Act
funding, the state will install two electric vehicle fast charging stations along Highway 2. This route will
connect to the I-5 “electric highway” enabling electric vehicle drivers to travel from across the west
coast to North Central Washington by the end of 2011.
In addition to the two state purchased
fast charging stations, the Port of Chelan County is working with businesses to install Level II charging stations
at destinations throughout the local area. These include Stevens Pass Ski Area; Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady
Resort and Icicle Ridge Winery; and Wenatchee’s Convention Center, Town Toyota Center and SpringHill Suites
by Marriot Wenatchee Hotel.
Lori Vandenbrink says environmental sustainability is the driving
force behind Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort, so when they began hearing about the state’s plans for electric
charging stations linking Seattle to Wenatchee, they knew Sleeping Lady had to get on board.
Sleeping Lady’s Level II charger will take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours depending on the status of the
vehicle’s battery. Level II chargers cost between 1 and 5 thouand dollars. Vandenbrink said it will be a
valuable service to the hotel’s guests. Vandenbrink thinks the charging station will pay for itself with new
electric vehicle owning guests. It will be installed in the spring.