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Experts: WSDOT's Alternative Fuels Corridor PPP Could Help Spur Private Investment in Renewable Fuel Infrastructure

A public/private partnership between the Washington State Department of Transportation and private businesses could help spur private investment in an alternative fueling network along Interstate 5 making alternative fuels, including fast charging for electric vehicles, more readily available for long-distance drivers. WSDOT's Public/Private Partnerships Office presented these findings of it's recently released study at legislative hearings in late January 2009.

The centerpiece of the state's contribution to such a partnership would be the use of key parcels of DOT-owned land, to be used as "host sites" for private businesses. In turn, the private business would install fueling or charging equipment, supply the fuel or power, and manage operations. No state money would be appropriated for such partnerships, although the private venture might qualify for government tax incentives or compete for grants.

The Alternative Fuels Corridor Economic Feasibility Study examined the Interstate 5 corridor in Washington state. Oregon and California DOTs are conducting similar studies, and are working together with Washington to advance the I-5 Alternative Fuels Corridor Pilot Project. If implemented, drivers of alternative fuel vehicles would be able to travel from British Columbia to the southern California border with reliable sources of fueling or charging to make the long-distance trip. Potential WSDOT host sites would be located only in areas where no private businesses are currently providing these next-generation fuels or charging services.

An Executive Summary (pdf 3,721 kb)of the Economic Feasibility Study and the complete study (pdf 438 kb) are now available.