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Ready, Set, Charge! Mt. Hood National Forest Welcomes First Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Mt. Hood National Forest is home to the nation’s first electric vehicle fast charger installed on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and on a ski resort. (Courtesy Oregon Department of Transportation)

Mt. Hood National Forest is home to the nation’s first electric vehicle fast charger installed on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and on a ski resort. (Courtesy Oregon Department of Transportation)

Oregon, home to the nation’s first border-to-border electric highway, continues its emergence as the ultimate travel destination for electric vehicle (EV) drivers. The Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Transportation and their partners recently unveiled America’s first EV fast-charger installed on U.S. Forest Service land and at a ski resort.

By using the growing West Coast Electric Highway fast-charger network, EV drivers can now travel up Mt. Hood’s rugged slopes, looming large at 11,250 feet and located just over an hour from Portland, Ore. The charging station, at Mt. Hood Skibowl West, completes Oregon’s Mt. Hood-Columbia River Gorge Electric Byway.

“It’s a natural fit to support infrastructure that promotes clean energy near forest recreation sites,” said Bill Westbrook of the Forest Service’s Zigzag Ranger District.

Partners in this accomplishment include Travel Oregon, the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, the U.S. Forest Service, AeroVironment, Portland General Electric and the Oregon Office of the Governor.

“The opening of the Mt. Hood fast-charger marks a major milestone in Oregon’s efforts to support electric vehicle travel across the state, including to wild and scenic places and recreation destinations,” said Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. “This not only helps minimize our environmental impact, it also creates an economic boost for small businesses located along Oregon Electric Byways.”

Ashley Horvat, Oregon’s electric vehicle officer, said Oregonians aren’t content to relegate electric vehicles to just city driving.

“We see the potential to use EVs for long distance travel, helping us preserve Oregon’s landscapes for future generations to travel Oregon forever,” she said.

One of the keys to success in supporting and growing electric vehicle adoption is reducing range anxiety, or concern about how far an electric vehicle can go before it needs re-charging.

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