Washington to become more EV-friendly

      Port Orchard will be first local City to install EV charging stations

      Washington state hopes to make owning an electric vehicle easier, and a project is in the works to add charging stations around Puget Sound.

      Last year, the state Legislature adopted a bill directing the state to install charging outlets for electric vehicles at places like rest stops and state parks. The bill also provides tax incentives for EV infrastructure.
Washington is one of five states selected to participate in a national pilot project to install charging stations around Puget Sound, both at private residencies and public facilities. The project is funded though an economic stimulus grant that was part of President Obama’s package. The Seattle metro region is one of 11 cities participating in the project, which will see some initial deployment this summer.
      Rep. Jay Inslee, a Democrat from Bainbridge Island, was the leading force behind getting $2.4 billion in funding for the program, with the largest amount ($1.4 billion) to be spent on battery manufacturing. The EV infrastructure portion is estimated to cost nearly $100 million.
      In Puget Sound, more than 2,500 charging stations (including fast-charge) will be deployed, many of them in the Seattle area. The other half of the project will deploy about 1,000 Nissan zero-emission, all-electric vehicles in the area. Dubbed LEAF, this car costs an estimated 2 cents a mile to drive (based on Seattle power rates), or about $190 for 10,000 miles, compared to more than $1,000 for an average car.

       According to Nissan, the LEAF can travel up to 100 miles on one charge. The distance between Seattle and Portland, the nearest city that is part of the pilot, is about 170 miles.