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Electric car rally to converge here Saturday

WENATCHEE — Amid speeches and fanfare, a high-voltage, strategically timed procession of about a dozen electric cars will travel here from Seattle Saturday to test the mettle of new charging stations along Highway 2.

Drivers will start in Sultan at about 9 a.m. and make stops in Skykomish, Leavenworth and Wenatchee, getting quick-charges along the way.

The event is an effort to establish North Central Washington as an electric vehicle (EV) destination, where EV-owning Seattlites can come, charge up, spend the night and take in area wineries and recreation before heading home.

Five locations along the route and multiple places in Wenatchee have stations for charging electric vehicles, but the four chosen stops for Saturday’s event have — or are expected to have by Saturday — 480-volt “Level 3” charging stations, capable of topping up a battery in about 20 minutes. The lower-voltage Level 1 and 2 stations take longer.

Drivers start times from Sultan will be carefully coordinated to prevent bottlenecks behind each fast-charge station along the way.

“This is a pioneering thing. To some degree, it’s a test drive,” said event organizer and spokesman Ron Johnston-Rodriguez.

At each stop along the more than 100-mile “Highway 2/Stevens Pass Scenic Byway” dignitaries will gather for a ribbon cuttings and speeches.
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