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Washington state needs 3 million more EV charging ports to meet goal


The state of Washington has a goal of ending the sale of new gasoline vehicles by 2035. It also has created a Transportation Electrification Strategy, or TES, to ensure “that electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure are accessible and available to all Washingtonians.”

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However, it’s going to need a lot more charging ports. 

According to the Electric Vehicle Council, the state will need 3 million by 2035. It’s not yet known whether this includes both private and public charging ports, but the price tag is in the billions of dollars.

Either way, the state has a long way to go.

Currently, there are roughly 4,500 public EV chargers in the state, mostly level 2 charging ports and just under 1,000 direct current fast charging ports.

Charging infrastructure is one of the critical aspects of making EV use en masse practical. Recently US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm went on a road trip across the country to promote EV use, but the fleet hit a snag when there weren’t enough chargers for them all to use.

To meet the 3 million mark, Washington state will need to install 250,000 ports every single year starting this year – in 2021, just 460 were built.

Then there’s the cost, a topic that was raised at the state Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council’s most recent meeting on Wednesday. The council is preparing a draft update to the TES, which will include more details about the EV charger requirements.

Regarding the goal of 3 million charging ports, EV Council Co-Chair Tonia Buell said “my biggest question is how are going to do that?” She also told meeting participants that she did not know of any funding sources at this time that might cover the costs.

Those costs will vary depending on the type of charger installed. The average cost of installation is $300 to $1,500 cost for single EV port level 1, $6,000 for single EV port level 2, and $10,000-$40,000 for DC fast charging port.

However, in an email to The Center Square, Buell wrote that this just represents the equipment side of installation costs, which can be three times higher. According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, the total installation cost for a 350kW DC fast charging port can be as high as $172,000.

While a level 1 charger cost is estimated to be far less, it’s not considered practical for EVs used daily. A 30-minute charge on a level 1 port will only get a vehicle five miles, whereas a DC fast charger can provide enough energy for an EV to go 200 miles or more.

Even if the state only needed to install level 1 charging ports, the estimated price tag would still be $3 billion, and $18 billion if only level 2 charging ports were installed.

The TES draft update will include a forecast of what types of charging ports will need to be built.

Right now, there are 104,000 all-electric vehicles registered in Washington, placing it fourth in the nation in terms of total EVs. Another challenge for the coordinating council is how to get more drivers into EVs, which can cost more than what many households earn annually. 

The TES draft update will be available for comment next month. The state Department of Commerce will submit the final draft to the state Legislature by the end of the year.



  1. Once Washington goes 100% electric for residents will there be gas and diesel available for visitors? Better fill up and bring some extra 5 gallon cans. If they even let polluters in the state, that is. Washington really should have waited until the regular West Coast Guinea pig population, California, had tested this out. Californians LOVE being on the cutting edge of innovation. So what if it destroys their economy? Well worth the social credit rewards and federal offsets. The entire controversy might be academic by 2035 if the Biden “Recovery” stays on track, though, because what good is it having access to fuel that you probably can’t afford?

  2. Just a few questions that Cap’t Obvious would no doubt consider:
    Where will the electrical supply come from to supply the 3MM Battery Chargers?
    Who will supply the electrical infrastructure required to support this endeavor (USA, Mexico, Europe, or China)?
    Will Electrical Manufactures // Suppliers meet the infrastructure demand of this endeavor?
    Where will the necessary workforce come from to install 250,000 EV Charging Ports per year?
    Can the State Regulatory Departments process the required Environmental Impact Statement, Permits and Completion Inspections in a timely manner?
    With the transition from a “Combustion” Fossil Fueled Vehicle to an EV (Electric Vehicle), what will become of all of the “Combustion” Fossil Fueled Vehicles … The ones we pay $80K for today?
    If there’s a mass transition to EV’s, what will become of the Gas Stations, Bulk Tank Farms & Distributorships, Port Facilities and Refineries … As well as well as all of the current Jobs associated with those entities?
    Will the necessary electrical infrastructure require to be “hardened” against “High-Electro Magnetic Pulse” threats? *NOTE: If you’ve ever worked at the GMD Missile Defense Facility at Fort Greely (AK), you will quickly understand the astronomical costs associated with HEMP Protection!!!
    Can the existing Electrical Transmission and Distribution Infrastructure handle the increased electrical demand associated with this endeavor? Or, will it also have to be upgraded and built-out? Who pays for that?
    What are the “critical components” of the electrical infrastructure and are there sufficient back-up spares in possession should any of these “critical components” fail and/or be subject to ruin by nefarious actions?
    What are the “fail safe” back-up measures to ensure 100% reliability and service?
    Once the transition occurs, from our normal (reliable) vehicles to the EV vehicles, where will the taxes come from to maintain the road system?
    What’s the associate insurance costs … Home & Auto?
    Will we have to upgrade Fire Departments and Equipment to fight EV related fires?

  3. This will make a lot of work for highly-paid electricians and construction people. There will be less pollution, cars will be more reliable and require less maintenance. I had a charger installed in my garage a few weeks ago and it was easy as pie.

    I dare say that for a country that can build an Interstate system, electrify the west, land a man on the moon, develop and manufacture thousands of nuclear warheads and a delivery system, this should not be too much of a problem.

    I enjoy driving for 1/4 the energy cost of my gas vehicle, and whistle past every gas station I see. I never need to change the oil, have broken belts, need to change my spark plugs, or overhaul my transmission. For the close-to-home driving I do, it’s perfect. And the lower energy cost allows me to recoup the slightly higher vehicle cost in a year or two.

    What’s not to like? For sure they don’t fit every demand, but under the correct circumstances they are the perfect choice.

    The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone.

    • But of course, Whidbey, statists like you are not content to let the market, and individual choice, set the agenda here. No, you DEMAND, by FORCE and COERCION, that EVERYONE conform exactly to your desires and wishes. As such, this insane, centrally-coordinated and mandated electrification of vehicles is both immoral and evil.

      • It doesn’t take great intelligence to be mean or nasty. It’s just the opposite. The nicest people are usually the smartest. Based on almost all of your comments on here, you appear to fit into the former category. How does it serve yourself or make your life better to be nasty all the time? You must be a very unhappy person.

    • I wish you guys would quit using AI to create your answers and use your own noggins. Your word and sentence structure sound just like the AI app that my friend insists on training to counteract the evil AI.

        • Most recent dam in Washington State was built in 1972. There were several more built between 1960 – 1971. Everything else that I can find is older than that. Given that Pacific salmon live no longer than about 7 years (large kings), I would submit that the dams would have killed them all off by 1980 or sooner.

          If you listen to the local fly fishermen, salmon runs in the Pacific NW were destroyed the old fashioned way by their commfish fleet and unconstrained fishing by local tribes. Interior’s part in protecting endangered sea lions has turned the pool below the lower dams into feeding grounds for them. They figured how to swim all the way upriver and dine on the salmon waiting to traverse the fish ladders. Cheers –

      • Washington has a lot of hydro power but how much of the electricity is surplus right now? Are all those dams currently underutilized? Is there capacity to spare sufficient to meet the increased demand from all the new electric vehicles? It’s doubtful that the feds will allow any new hydroelectric dam projects to be built so Washington is likely stuck with what they’ve got right now and with the integrated interstate electrical grid demand will only continue to grow as other states forcibly wean citizens off petroleum. From an earlier comment you think electric is cheaper than gas but just wait until demand spikes. The dream of all electric future is a fantasy that average citizens won’t be able to afford but it will achieve the primary goal of limiting our mobility while destroying our standard of living. Enjoy the heyday of electric vehicles while they’re still somewhat of a novelty because once they’re mainstream and everyone is plugging in things are going to be much different.

      • No it takes fossil fuels to support electricity dog. No product currently make is fossil free including your life and what it takes to support it. If you hate fossil fuels so much why have you not denounced sporting events concerts and the military’s waste of fossil fuels? You’re just a noise box riding the wave of false reality.

  4. Crank up those coal fired plants. We’ll need plenty more to generate the electricity needed for all those charging stations. Idiots in charge……

  5. Daily reminder to Republicans that small government conservatism is dead.
    The State of Alaska is getting into the ‘electric gas station’ business as well.
    Government is now about rewarding friends and punishing enemies. Best get used to it.

  6. EV drivers currently don’t pay road taxes that drivers of internal combustion engine vehicles do. These taxes finance road maintenance. EV’s are heavier than normal vehicles due to the weight of their batteries causing more wear and tear than normal vehicles. A viable solution for future financing has yet to be found.

  7. All roads will probably need to be upgraded to accommodate new technologies not yet announced that are different than evs. Will we sunset ev state statutes? Probably no. The code always lags. The code is written to be obeyed by corporate government not mankind status who have had on this continent the absolute right to travel the King’s Highways still commercially regulated nicely in terms of horsepower measurements nomenclature.

  8. Would not need charging stations if we implemented the use of wireless electricity.

    Unfortunately, wireless energy cannot be measured and monetized. Therefore we can’t have nice thinks unless someone can make a killing of a profit off it.


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