100K miles on the West Coast Electric Highway

By Noel Brady

Gov. Jay Inslee presents Steve Marsh with the Governor’s
Recognition Award, naming him Washingtonian of the Day.
Our charge to short-circuit the range barrier for electric vehicles passed milestone 100,000 on Dec. 16, when a Kent man stopped in Tumwater on the West Coast Electric Highway.

The fast-charge station at a Shell station in Tumwater is a regular stop for Steve Marsh on his way to work at Taylor Shellfish in Shelton – a 130-mile roundtrip commute. When he pulled up Monday in his Nissan LEAF, his odometer flipped to 100,000 miles.

Suddenly Steve was an EV-VIP, shaking hands with the likes of Gov. Jay Inslee and Transportation Secretary Lynn Peterson. They and others congratulated Steve for reaching the six-digit milestone and saving nearly 30 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the process.

By the Numbers
Steve Marsh purchased a Nissan LEAF in May 2011 for his 130-mile roundtrip commute. After 100,000 miles, here are the numbers.
Marsh’s daily commute in freeway miles each way, depending on route
Freeway miles he can drive on a single charge; 75+ when LEAF was new
His cost in electricity per one-way commute
His savings in gas he didn’t purchase over the last 2 1/2 years (based on his previous 2006 Honda Accord EX)
Total net saving, counting out changes

Metric tons of CO2 equivalent Marsh would have released if he kept his 30-mpg Accord (EPA greenhouse gas calculator).

The Governor handed Steve a plaque declaring him the Washingtonian of the Day and vowed his administration’s commitment to reducing use of fossil fuels in Washington. One strategy will be extending our network of electric charging stations west-to-east across the state, he said. 

Already the West Coast Electric Highway enables EV travel between British Columbia and Oregon with a network of 12 fast-charge stations along I-5 and parts of U.S. 2. They can fully charge an electric car in about 30 minutes. We are working with Oregon and California on the West Coast Green Highway to extend the charging network to Baja, Mexico.

Steve said cash was his biggest motivator for being among the first in the state to buy a LEAF – some $9,000 he saved by passing the pump and plugging in on his long commutes.

Shortly after he bought his electric car, he suggested his company install a public-use charging station at his office. 

Here’s the shocker: They did!