WATCH: Gov. Kate Brown announces WGA Chair Initiative, the Electric Vehicles Roadmap

Western Governors’ Association Chair and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, asserting “we are on the precipice of a historic transition,” launched the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative, which seeks to achieve an expanded regional agreement on electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure that can “unlock new potential across the West.”

Gov. Brown rolled out her WGA Chair’s Initiative with a keynote address during a webinar that included a conversation with EV officials from Idaho and Washington state, further illustrating the regional nature of the project.

“My Chair’s Initiative (is) an issue that states across the West are already working on, both individually and collaboratively,” the Governor said, citing the work of the West Coast Electric Highway and the Regional Electric Vehicle Plan for the West (REV West) programs. “It is an issue that bolsters our current economies and creates a roadmap, both literally and figuratively, to the future.”

The Governor noted that the success of the Initiative will go a long way toward removing a principal barrier to purchasing an EV -- “range anxiety,” the fear that a vehicle will run out of power before reaching its destination or another charging point.

“We know that an increased number of EV charging stations would be a primary factor in improving a consumer or businesses’ likelihood of purchasing an EV,” said the Governor. “Ensuring that charging stations are interoperable across vehicle types is a crucial aspect of creating improved networks of EV infrastructure.”

The webinar included presentations by panelists on the West Coast Electric Highway and REV West.

  • Tonia Buell of the Washington State Department of Transportation explained that the development of the West Coast Electric Highway “was designed to accelerate electric vehicle adoption by promoting the electric vehicle fast-charging corridor from British Columbia all the way through California.”
  • Katie Pegan discussed a similar guiding principle behind REV West, which includes eight western states. “We wanted to avoid creating an electric highway to nowhere, so people don’t have to worry about being stranded somewhere as they travel in the West.”

WGA Executive Director Jim Ogsbury, in his introduction of Gov. Brown, noted that “a distinguishing characteristic of these projects is that they drive to action, and … the Electric Vehicles Roadmap Initiative will be no different with respect to producing meaningful outcomes.”

The Initiative now continues with a series of work sessions to explore challenges and opportunities, with a goal of an expanded regional agreement on EV infrastructure by next June’s WGA Annual Meeting in Sunriver, Oregon.

Download the slides

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