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Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Ross Freeman, Stevens Pass Resort, 206.812.7855
Ron Johnston-Rodriguez, Port of Chelan County, 509.663.5159
Tonia Buell, Washington State Department of Transportation, 360.628.2644
STEVENS PASS , WA – Stevens Pass Resort today announced completion of the nation's first mountain-pass electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The resort's two new chargers along U.S. Highway 2 in Washington's central Cascade Mountain Range might also be the only public units located at a ski resort anywhere in the Western U.S.
Each "Level-II" station provides both a trickle charge and a faster charge, servicing two electric vehicles simultaneously. These 240-volt fast-charge units built by Coulomb Technologies Inc. allow EV drivers to "fuel up" while they enjoy the resort's recreational activities. Owners of vehicles like the new Nissan Leaf will gain approximately 15 miles of range for every hour of charging. Nearly empty batteries will require four-to-six to fully charge– perfect for a day of skiing or mountain biking at the resort or hiking from the trailhead of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Stevens Pass fills a critical link in EV charging infrastructure along Highway 2, providing EV drivers with a well-placed refueling option and permitting journeys to Leavenworth or Wenatchee, where other chargers are located. The Stevens Pass stations are available to the public 24 hours a day, every day of the year with restrooms nearby and reliable cell phone coverage.
"Our company-wide focus on sustainability includes many progressive programs, and we are especially pleased to remain on the cutting edge by installing these EV charging stations at the resort," said Ross Freeman, Environment & Sustainability Manager for Stevens Pass. "We strive to lead the way among Pacific Northwest resorts in reducing our carbon footprint – supporting the use of electric vehicles puts us one more step ahead of the competition."
Grants from the ChargePoint America Program, which includes federal stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, helped pay for the new charging stations. Stevens Pass paid for all fabrication, installation and electrical work.
Both charging stations are connected via cellular signal to the national ChargePoint Network, allowing anyone with a smartphone or computer to access station location and real-time availability information, view their usage history and sign up for email alerts.
The average user fee for charging at Level-II stations is approximately $4-$5 per session, but Stevens Pass will waive this charge for an introductory period. Fees can be paid through a key ring swipe pass, credit card or by calling a toll-free phone number on each unit.
Other locations along Highway 2 are considering – or have announced – plans to install additional Level-II charging stations. Also along Highway 2, the Washington State Department of Transportation will install two DC fast-charging stations (sometimes known as Level-III), which can provide an 80 percent charge in just 20 minutes. By the end of 2011, this route will connect to I-5 and WSDOT's Electric Highway Project.
"Stevens Pass is leading a national movement. This new electric vehicle charging station is a peek at how most of us will drive to the mountains in the not-so-distant future, using cleaner, more efficient fuels," said Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. "It brings us closer to a seamless network of electric vehicle charging stations across Washington and, eventually, from Canada to Mexico with the West Coast Green Highway."
The Stevens Pass Greenway is one of the richest scenic byways in Washington. Originally built for the Old Great Northern Railroad, the greenway winds through dense forest, snowcapped mountains and green valleys, past orchards and wineries of Wenatchee, family farms and the Bavarian village of Leavenworth.
"Businesses along U.S. 2 rely on tourism," said Port of Chelan County's Ron Johnston-Rodriguez, Director of the PlugIn Center. "With fast charging stations along this scenic byway, travelers will be able to drive electric cars to popular destinations such as Stevens Pass, Leavenworth and Wenatchee."
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About Stevens Pass Mtn Resort
Stevens Pass has grown from its humble beginnings over 70 years ago to one of the Northwest's premier resorts, and we reckon that protecting and restoring the natural resources that have provided us our livelihood is the least we can do. As a locally owned company, Stevens Pass believes we have a responsibility to both the Pacific Northwest environment and regional climate that allow us to conduct business at all. Our company-wide focus on sustainability and our carbon footprint includes many progressive programs, as well as the purchase of renewable energy credits to offset 100% of our electricity and propane use. By investing in clean windpower, our carbon offset prevents approximately 7,980,000 pounds of global warming pollution from entering the atmosphere annually.
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