Circuit of electric car charging stations completed on scenic byway

Washington is now home to the nation's first Electric Scenic Byway, and it's thanks to home and business owners helping complete the circuit.

The Cascade Loop Scenic Byway is now the first in the country to be fully electrified with charging stations.

That's thanks in part to people like Briana Gulas, who is opening up her Monroe home so fellow electric car owners can stop by and plug in.

"Electric motors are the original motors," said Gulas. "We were storing electrons before we were burning oil."

Gulas is one of a growing number of private citizens who are teaming with the electric vehicle industry and local governments to complete the circuit across America and make the country more accessible to those interested in electric cars.

Drivers and homeowners use mapped webpages, such as PlugShare to connect.

There are currently 18,000 electric cars registered in Washington. Washington State Department of Transportation hopes to have 50,000 on the road by 2020.

You can now drive the entire Cascade Loop from Everett to Wenatchee, north to Winthrop, through the North Cascades, over Deception Pass and all the way to the south end of Whidbey Island – some 440 miles – without worrying about a place to charge.

The Sky Deli in Skykomish is on the grid, too – filling travelers' bellies with food, and electric cars with juice. The pump at the deli is provided by California tech company AeroVironment.

Deli owner Nancy Yarges says encouraging electric tourism is good for the whole community.

"They're more likely to come to Skykomish, charge their car and then come to the deli," said Yarges. "Then they might as well as walk across the bridge to see the other sights in town."

© 2017 KING-TV


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