Charge on the Go
The West Coast Electric Highway is a network of fast-charging stations located every 25-50 miles along I-5, Highway 99, and other major roadways in the Pacific Northwest.
Plan your next road trip with Travel Oregon's Electric Byways. Take a drive along the coast, head east to the Columbia River Gorge, take a wine country tour, and more.
As part of Oregon's 50K by 2020 initiative, new buildings and parking structures will be required to be EV-ready. More employers are already offering charging infrastructure to employees and visitors. Talk to your employer about charging options for you, or share informative guides on workplace charging from the U.S. Department of Energy and Clean Cities.
On the Road
Joining a network can make charging on the go easier – some networks offer charging plans for frequent users. Others will send you a membership card you can quickly scan to access the plug, so you can charge up and head to your next destination faster.
In addition to Level 1 (110 V) and Level 2 (220 V) chargers, many stations feature a third style of charger – a DC Fast Charger (DC stands for direct current). Oregon has a wide network of fast chargers, with more on the way. DC Fast Chargers take between 20 and 40 minutes to charge your vehicle. Your car must be equipped with a plug that’s compatible with fast charging – see the next section for info on different plug styles.
Charging a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle? Depending on your manufacturer, PHEVs may only work with Level 1 or Level 2 chargers. This is mainly because the batteries in PHEVs are not as big as fully-electric vehicles, so they are unable to charge at the higher voltage chargers.
Things to remember when you’re charging:
Have a credit card handy. Many public charging stations have associated fees to charge your vehicle. Even if you’re not a member of the charging network, most chargers list a toll-free number that you can call to arrange for a one-time charge.
Consider joining a network. Some charging networks offer charging plans for frequent users. Others will send you a membership card that you can scan at the station to help facilitate your charge.
Pay attention to the charger cord length. Depending on where your car’s charge port is, you may need to back in to some charging stations.
Be courteous. Many chargers will send you a text when your car is charged and ready to go. Either way, monitor your progress so you can move your car and allow other drivers to access the charger.
Different electric vehicles have different charger plugs. The three main plug styles are associated with different manufacturers:
CHAdeMO. CHAdeMO fast chargers are widely available. They charge a number of car models, including certain Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Kia, and Tesla vehicles. The maximum power output is 50kW, with up to 150 kW on the horizon. CHAdeMOs can charge a mid-range car in about 30 minutes.
SAE Combo/CSS. These DC fast chargers are used to charge BMW, GM, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, and other models. Maximum power output is 50 kW, with up to 150 kW on the horizon. Like CHAdeMO, these combos can charge a mid-range car in about 30 minutes.
Supercharger. Tesla Superchargers are currently available for Tesla owners. The fast chargers have a maximum power output of 125 kW, and can charge a Tesla to 100% in about 60-75 minutes.
Chargeway, an Oregon-based company, developed an app to make the charging process even easier.
Instead of deciphering CHAdeMO/Combo/Etc., Chargeway uses red, blue, and green for charger types, and simple numbers for charging speed. The app shows you how to find chargers and trip routes that will work for your specific vehicle.