By Alanna Brown, LuxEco Editorial Assistant

Come fall of 2010, Washington state will begin construction on the U.S.’s first-ever electric highway. All being made possible by a $1.32 million federal grant, 10 level-3 charging stations will line the Interstate-5 at 80-mile intervals, from Oregon to Canada. Electric car commuters—now behind the wheel of newer versions, such as the Leaf and the Volt—will have plenty of leeway along the I-5 before the 100-mile charging range of their vehicle runs out.

Inhabitat says, of the technicalities of the new electric highway, “Each station is capable of charging at 400 volts and 30 amps or more and at these stations a typical EV would be 80% charged in just about 30 minutes. Plug in, grab a cup of coffee, chat with fellow travelers, and be on your way.” But one troubling technicality is that the charging ability of a level-3 station is mildly disrupted by cold climates and turbulent weather, which could be a drawback for the notoriously wet state.

However, it’s about time someone got the ball rolling—and the cars charging. Perhaps this will be an incentive for more electric vehicle purchases, and for more electric highways to be installed nation-wide.


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