Charging Up Stevens Pass Like Never Before

Roddy Scheer
Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf

For those of you who already own, or are waiting to buy a Nissan Leaf or one of the other new all-electric vehicles now on the market, Stevens Pass and environs might be just the place to take it on your next Sunday drive. The state's commerce and transportation departments recently teamed up to commit to making the Stevens Pass Greenway, a 90-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 2, the first electric-vehicle (EV) friendly National Scenic Byway route in the country. The state is working to install at least two and maybe more electric vehicle fast charging stations along this pristine stretch of highway. Meanwhile, destinations such as Stevens Pass Ski Area, Leavenworth’s Sleeping Lady Resort and Icicle Ridge Winery, Wenatchee’s Convention Center and SpringHill Suites by Marriot Wenatchee Hotel will also soon feature electric car charging stations thanks to a little encouragement from the Port of Chelan County and the Advanced Vehicle Innovations Consortium in Wenatchee.

Of course, Highway 2 won’t be the only place to charge up your EV in Washington. The state department of transportation is also working on installing similar fast charging infrastructure every 40-60 miles along I-5 and eventually I-90 as part of its Electric Highway Project, ensuring that EV drivers won’t have to worry about recharging gaps on longer cross-state trips.

Some of these spots will have charging stations in place by this spring, with more to follow through the summer and fall. So if you’ve been contemplating plunking some cash down for a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, or Ford Focus Electric--or selling some stock options and buying a Tesla Roadster--now might be a good time to go for it.