Local News

Highway 97 Getting Fast Charging Stations

BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Department of Transportation will soon start dolling out $65 million dollars in federal funding, as part of a five year plan to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure. "Year one: US 97 is on the list for us to contract with private companies to then install, build, operate and maintain brand new EV fast charging stations," says ODOT's Matt Noble. 

The agency launched an online open house to get feedback about where the stations should go, "Simple considerations like: does the charging station have room for someone towing a trailer to pull up and charge at? So, we’re really trying to think through localized factors like that to make sure that the way we contract to have these stations built really meets the needs of the people who are actually going to be using them," says Noble.

Each location will have four chargers, "The stations need to be no more than 50 miles apart on any given interstate or highway that they’re installed on, and they have to be within one mile of an exit," Noble tells KBND News, "So, in the next couple of years, on 97, we’ll have intervals of fast charges all the way from 84, down to the border."

I-205 near Portland and I-5 south of Eugene will also get a chunk of the money. Other states are getting funds, as well, to upgrade EV infrastructure, "The idea is that your charging experience, no matter where you are, at one of these stations will be roughly the same because they’re all built to the same federal standards."

The online open house is available through March third.

To listen to our fill conversation with ODOT's Matt Noble, visit our podcast page.

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