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Plug in your electric vehicle, unplug your mind at state parks near Portland

Level 2 electric vehicle chargers were recently installed at seven state parks across Oregon as part of a pilot project encouraging eco-friendly tourism.

Two photos in a collage. The left photo shows a vehicle charging at a Rivian Waypoints Level 2 charger; the right photo shows a closeup of a charger.

Four chargers were unveiled at an “Inaugural Charge” event held at Silver Falls State Park on Friday, May 5.

Photo via Oregon State Parks

Electric vehicle charging stations are easy to find when you’re traveling down the freeway and the mileage meter gets low. But driving an EV to areas where even cellphone reception is limited? That’s a bit riskier.

Newly installed EV charging stations at a handful of state parks around Oregon — including a few near Portland — take the anxiety out of accessing nature sans fossil fuels.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department praised the new stations this week, saying they present a “historic opportunity” for park visitors to access and enjoy the outdoors and reduce air pollution by traveling via zero-emissions vehicles.

Electric vehicle maker Rivian donated the installation design, construction costs, and EV chargers through nonprofit organization Adopt A Charger. Plastics manufacturer Entec Polymers is covering the cost of electricity used by visitors at the charging stations until 2025. After that, users will have to pay for their own charging.

Here’s where you’ll find Rivian Waypoints Level 2 chargers near Portland:

Four more stations will soon be installed at Rooster Rock State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. Every hour that an EV is plugged into a Rivian Waypoint can add up to 25 miles of driving range, and drivers can keep tabs on their charging sessions by downloading an app.

The chargers are compatible with all electric vehicles (read: not just Rivians) and are fully powered with renewable energy. Every kilowatt hour delivered through a Rivian Waypoint charger is matched (or exceeded) with renewable energy like solar and wind that the company has either developed on its own or purchased from other existing projects.

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