Final installation completed as part of PUD Strategic Plan and Public Power Benefit.
WENATCHEE – Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Tesla, Volkswagen E-Golf, Ford Fusion . . . and soon, Volvo adding electric engine options (starting in 2019). Electric vehicles are part of the future to lower vehicle operating costs and reduce the amount of CO2 from internal combustion engines. Chelan PUD heard from customers loud and clear that they want their electric utility to be part of the solution. And now, there are five new public electric charging stations in the greater Wenatchee area.
In 2015, PUD commissioners adopted a strategic plan that included about $4 million annually for Public Power Benefit programs. These were to be projects that would increase the quality of life for Chelan County residents and would provide the best for the most for the longest period of time. A big component of the allocated funds is going to expanding the District’s high speed fiber network to about 90 percent of the county by 2025. Funds also were allocated to installing electric vehicle charging stations.
The locations of the charging stations are:
- 327 N. Wenatchee Ave. (two chargers at PUD headquarters – south parking lot)
- 1351 Walla Walla Ave. at the PUD’s Walla Walla Point Park
- 285 Technology Center Way at Confluence Technology Center
- 6151 State Highway 97A at Rocky Reach Visitor Center
Charging up at these stations is free, compliments of Cascade AutoCenter. The charging stations are available to the public.
“Electric vehicles are definitely a big part of our transportation future, both for personal use and commercial use,” said Andrew Grassell, Energy Development and Conservation manager. “Estimates are that there will be 7 million electric vehicles (EV) on the roads by 2025 and that at some point in the not-too-distant-future, EVs will take over the market because the cost to purchase and operate, availability of charging stations and longer distances on a tank of electrons will prevail.”
A deeper dive (or should we say “drive”) into EVs in our area – including a Chelan couple’s happy experience with their affordable, used Tesla — is in this month’s Lightly newsletter.
The PUD will assess installing additional charging stations based on demand and use. For more information, visit here https://www.plugshare.com/.
(By Kimberlee Craig, Chelan County PUD)