Washington finishes first fully electrified scenic loop drive

Travellers can now take 440-mile zero-emissions ride through the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway in Washington, according to a blog from Earth Island Journal.

This is the first long-distance scenic loop drive in the US fully supporting electric vehicle tourism is located in the state of Washington.

A 440-mile picturesque journey can be completed in an EV due to the recent 60 charging stations installed all through the way.

Charging stations are available at Chelan, Winthrop, the mountain resort village of Mazama and Newhalem.

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Washington has one of the nation’s highest percentages of electric cars per total car sales.

The Cascade Loop electrification project was developed and supported by North Central Washington community leaders.

The Seattle region is one of largest deployment areas of electric vehicles in the US and North Central Washington has an active tourism industry, with travellers coming from Seattle region.

North Central Washington Economic Development Commission representatives realized that they tap their tourism and energy resources in new ways by enticing owners of electric vehicles.

North Central Washington (PINCW) conceived and developed this innovative project, with a mission to promote adoption of EVs.

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PINCW staff spent years learning about electric vehicles in detail before finalizing plans for the loop.

Volunteers gathered public support as well as donations from the state of Washington and private organizations to buy chargers. Then they contacted hotels, businesses and communities along the route to find strategic locations for the stations.

PINCW supplied the chargers while the host locations paid for the installation costs in addition to providing the electricity. The project began to grow organically.

Similarly, Oregon’s Tourism Commission, known as Travel Oregon, has identified Oregon Coast Tour, a 230-mile roundtrip that follows the Columbia River to the Oregon Coast at Astoria.

Further, it will follow the Pacific Ocean south to Tillamook and return to Portland over the Coast Mountain Range that could be completely navigated by electric vehicles.

Some car rental agencies offering electric car rentals in Portland and Seattle, visitors to the Pacific Northwest can also participate in green tourism.

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These efforts place Washington and Oregon in a favourable position to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions.

With a large portion of electricity generated from renewable sources, overall automobile carbon dioxide emission will decline as the percentage of miles driven by electric vehicles increases.

The Cascade Loop demonstrates that enhanced economic benefits and increased tourism can go together with environmentally sound practices. In Central Washington, the conversation is expanding to battery-powered trolleys for public transit, electric fruit harvesting platforms, and electric recreational vehicles.

Sabeena Wahid
editor@greentechlead.com