Living Green: Local utilities working together to potentially in - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Living Green: Local utilities working together to potentially install new car charging stations

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WEST RICHLAND, WA - Tri-Cities utility companies have come together for a common goal: the installation of new and fast electric car charging stations along regional highways. The fast charging stations would be pay as you go, much like a traditional fueling station and would take just 20 minutes to fully charge a car.

The group behind the effort is called EVITA and it stands for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Transportation Alliance. It's sponsored by MCEI, the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative. It includes Benton REA, Benton PUD, Franklin PUD, Richland Energy Services along with Energy Northwest.

"The utilities are trying to participate in a pilot program with a state grant and a lot of the information we would gain at those charging station over the next five years will really dictate how we can establish appropriate rates and different programs," said Benton REA Member Services Manager, Troy Berglund.

Washington Department of Transportation is looking for those grant application in April. EVITA is working on sending one in. They will know in the next few months whether it's approved.