Electric car charging stations coming to local cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Electric car charging stations coming to local cities

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, WA - Starting this spring, Energy Northwest is spearheading a $1 million project to install a network of electric vehicle charging stations across 250 miles along Interstates 90 and 182 and US 395.

Titled the "EVITA" project - Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Transportation Alliance - this initiative brings together some of the area's local public utilities like Benton and Franklin PUD, Benton REA, the Cities of Richland and Ellensburg, TRIDEC, and Greenlots, an EV equipment supplier.

Project manager and development coordinator with Energy Northwest, Jennifer Harper hopes this project will give drivers peace of mind when traveling throughout the state.

"This is going to help relieve some range anxiety from people that are hesitant to buy an electric vehicle, because you can drive around your community easily but they're not sure across the state for their travel," Harper said.

The nine charging stations will be located in Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, Connell, Prosser, Yakima, Cle Elum, and George.

With each station placed about 40 to 50 miles apart, a driver will be able to recharge their electric vehicle's battery to 80 percent within 15 to 30 minutes.

The project is expected to be completed June 2019, the first charging station will be up as soon as next month. A ribbon cutting is scheduled for May 15 at the Southridge Complex.