With charging stations in front of your business, you gain access to new forms of branding, media coverage and new customers.

The Nation’s First Electric Car-Friendly Scenic Tourism Route

The State of Washington has deployed three high speed electric vehicle chargers on a section of U.S. Route 2 from just north of Seattle over the Cascade Mountains to North Central Washington using federal Recovery Act funds administered by the Washington Department of Commerce.

These high speed charging stations—known as DC fast chargers or Level 3 chargers—will allow properly equipped electric cars to make the trip from Seattle to tourist destinations in our area. Each station can add approximately 80 miles of driving range to an electric car’s battery in about 30 minutes. The presence of these stations will open up exciting new branding and marketing opportunities for local businesses.

The Plugin Center—working with many local and state partners—is leading an effort to help local businesses reap the benefits of being the nation’s first EV tourism destination.

Businesses Lining Up to Make Region a Hub for Electric Car Tourism

Although the high speed chargers create the backbone of a new tourism and marketing opportunity, they are by no means a full solution. Once electric car drivers arrive in North Central Washington they will need access to lower speed “Level 2″ charging equipment to be able to do their daily driving. Level 2 charging stations can add about 15-30 miles of driving range per hour of charging.

Many electric cars coming to the area—such as the Nissan LEAF—will initially be restricted to 100 miles of driving on a full battery. While this is enough to do much of what tourists want to do in one day while here, having access to Level 2 charging while sleeping at night or even while parked during the day will make it possible for EV tourists to stay for multiple days and enjoy the area as much as the driver of a conventional car.

Already North Central Washington businesses are lining up to embrace the idea of electric car tourism and will install their own Level 2 charging stations at resorts, wineries, hotels, convention centers and arenas in the area. The first of these east-of-the-Cascades destinations preparing to welcome EV drivers with charging stations include the Stevens Pass Ski Area; Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady Resort; Wenatchee’s Convention Center, and SpringHill Suites by Marriot Wenatchee hotel.

The Plugin Center is Here to Help Local Business and Government Sort Through Options

If a local business chooses to install a lower speed Level 2 charging station, the benefits can be seen in increased media coverage, free advertising, new marketing tools, new branding opportunities, an increase in business from electric vehicle owners, and tax credits. And it may not cost as much as you think. We’ve created a comprehensive list benefits and costs here.

As local business wade into this new world, local governments and agencies may not be prepared to support them with new requests, such as charging station signage, siting, and permitting.

For both business and government, the Plugin Center has the expertise, network and breadth of knowledge needed to make the process as smooth as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or to get the ball rolling.

List of Charging Stations Already Installed or Planned for 2012

City

Location/Host

Lev 1

120v

Lev 2

240v

Lev 3

480v

Leavenworth #1   Sleeping Lady  Resort

1

1

0

Leavenworth #2   City Hall

1

1

1

Wenatchee  #1   Wenatchee Convention Center

0

3

1

Wenatchee  #2   Springhill Suites by Marriott

2

2

0

Wenatchee  #3   Town Nissan

1

1

0

Wenatchee  #4   Wenatchee Valley College

2

0

0

Monroe   Evergreen State Fairgrounds

2

2

0

Stevens Pass Summit   Stevens Pass Ski Area I

2

2

0

Sultan   City Hall/Visitor Info Center

1

1

1

Skykomish   Sky Deli

1

1

1